Area lawn and garden enthusiasts can get intensive horticulture training through University of Illinois Extension's Master Gardener program, but if your area of interest is more of the preservationist or conservationist, the Master Naturalist program may be more appropriate. The training program consists of weekly sessions that run from early September through early November, but registration is going on now.
Participants get in-depth instruction on a variety of topics. Horticulture and Natural Resource Program Coordinator Sarah Ruth:
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It costs $225 for the 16-week naturalist course. The training rotates between Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair Counties. For more details, contact the Madison-Monroe-St. Clair Extension Unit at 618-344-4230.