SYCAMORE – Eighteen DeKalb, Ogle, Winnebago and LaSalle county residents graduated from Master Gardener training at a ceremony on Dec. 10 at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau in Sycamore.
The 2018 Master Gardener interns include: Susan Bileto, Carey Boehmer, Diane Buzzard, Amanda Christensen, Susan Colgan, Jean Gellar, Stephen Gellar, Jerri Kozlowski, Charles Larson, Mary Larson, Merilyn Mary, Kittikarn Mejudhon, Vicki Panke, Linda Slabon, Sabrina Tatum, Toni Tollerud, Jennifer Watts-Ulrich and Stephen Worley.
DeKalb County Master Gardeners bring education and the joy of horticulture into classrooms, homes, communities and demonstration gardens throughout the county.
They offer science-based guidance, develop demonstration gardens and community service projects, run gardening workshops for adults, conduct youth outreach, and staff the Horticulture Help Desk telephone service.
Through the I Think Green program, one of its most extensive outreach efforts, DeKalb County Master Gardeners also bring environmental education about resources, recycling and composting to classrooms.
Every year, the University of Illinois Extension seeks to re-invigorate and increase its volunteers. 2018 was a training year for DeKalb County and training was scheduled from Sept. 24 through Dec. 10. Certification as a Master Gardener is achieved only after participation in a rigorous training course and completion of the specified hours of volunteer service. Anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener should contact the DeKalb County Extension office at 815-758-8194 or visit web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo.
Topics covered in training include (but are not limited to) botany, plant classification and identification, soil science, plant selection and care, integrated pest management, plant diseases, vegetables, and landscape design.
Master Gardener Trainees must successfully complete a 12-week training session. The trainees begin sharing their knowledge with others by conducting garden lectures, demonstrations, school and community gardening projects, and answering calls on the county’s horticulture helpline.
They intern – and are mentored by certified Master Gardeners – in various DeKalb County projects, to complete 60 hours of volunteer work to become certified DeKalb County Master Gardeners. Thereafter, to maintain certification, they must – annually – complete 30 hours volunteering in various educational projects, and 10 hours toward continuing education.
The Master Gardener program is always accepting requests for its training programs. For more information and participation in this program, contact the DeKalb County Extension office at 815-758-8194.