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Vermilion County Master Gardeners Susie Willard, Marge Prideaux, Lynn Wolgamot, Nancy Roderick, Candice Miller and Mary Jo McDonald represented the group at the 44th State Master Gardener Awards in East Moline recently where the group was recognized with several awards.

The University of Illinois Extension held their 44th State Master Gardener Awards in East Moline in September. Vermilion County Master Gardeners traveled across the state to receive awards; one teamwork and two individual.

Douglas Discovery Garden received an award for their ‘Partners in Education’ project with Kenneth D Bailey Academy and AG in the Classroom. Master Gardener, Marge Prideaux developed the project at Kenneth D Bailey Academy collaborating with Susie Willard. For the past few years, local schools have benefited from five- ten weeks of ‘hands-on’ horticulture classes as part of their science curriculum during winter months. The classes end with student planting days in May.

The two retired teachers gave a presentation at the Master Gardener conference demonstrating that gardening is a lifelong passion that starts with children. Produce from the garden goes to local food pantries and senior citizens.

In addition to the teamwork award, Vermilion County Master Gardeners, Jan Hetherington and Leah Brennan received individual awards for sustained excellence. This award recognizes past winners for continued dedication. Both women a life learners –attending Garden Day events, field trips and monthly educational classes.

The Vermilion County Extension office is currently taking applications for 2020 Master Gardener Training classes. If you love to garden and would like to learn more this is a great way to meet others who share your interests. For more information, please contact Jenney Hanrahan at 217-442-8615 or visit our website

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please call the Extension Office. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.