May 13, 2021

Calendar: Providing woodland habitat for secretive animals

Woodlands are home to many secretive animals that creep, crawl, or fly such as salamanders, snakes, and bats. We tend to think these animals prefer dark and cold spaces, but this is not always the best habitat for them. Discover how you can provide habitat for these animals in your woods at 2 p.m. April 28. Register at

Plant Development Around the World

Join Champaign County Master Gardeners at 7 p.m. April 27 via Zoom or phone call-in for a presentation about Plant Development Around the World with Josh Schneider. Schneider, who formerly operated Mourning Dove Farms, a greenhouse and garden center in Mahomet, Illinois, has since been involved in a wide range of plant development projects in both the ornamental and agriculture industries. His presentation will focus on the development of new plants and solving plant health problems.

In this presentation you will learn:

  • How scientists collect plants for ornamental breeding programs
  • How the speaker developed breadfruit into a commercial crop that today feeds more than 1 million people
  • Information on newly discovered plant viruses.
  • How tissue culture and cryogenic technology is being used to solve plant health problems.

Register at This program will be recorded and, once edited, made available at

Housing affordability: Community needs and rural partnerships

Utilizing data-driven comprehensive planning, the Strategic Planning & Reporting department at the Illinois Housing Development Authority works with communities to develop a place-based approach to expanding housing affordability. The SPAR team identifies and cultivates partnerships with local stakeholders - advocates, city officials, developers, and residents, to name a few - to implement local housing strategies to grow healthy and sustainable communities across Illinois.

Join co-hosts University of Illinois Extension and Rural Partners at noon April 27 as representatives from SPAR provide an overview of emerging demographic and real estate market trends, outline organizational goals and objectives, and discuss how local leaders can get involved.

Register at

Kitchen plant propagation

Propagation is one of the greatest plant skills to know. What could be better than making a new plant? Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Bruce J. Black will discuss basics of propagation, why it works, and talk kitchen scrap gardening at 5:30 p.m. April 28. Register at

Learn about cool-season grasses

In spring, cool-season grasses emerge, grow, and flower. These grasses play an important role in providing habitat and food sources in the early spring before warm-season grasses emerge and flower in the summer. Grass identification doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By learning what characteristics to look for, you can start to demystify the bunches of grass you see on your next hike.

The program Cool-season Grasses will be at noon April 30. Register at

Eggs: From farm to fork

Purchasing eggs is not so easy anymore; it takes some skill to figure out which eggs to buy. The program Eggs: From Farm to Fork will be at 10:30 a.m. April 30.

Join University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Susan Glassman from the Extension Education Center & Community Teaching Kitchen via zoom and learn about eggs and how to make the best choice for your health. After class, watch a live cooking demonstration.

Register by visiting

Macon County Master Gardener Plant Sale

DECATUR, Ill. - The Macon County Master Gardener Plant Sale will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 1 at the Macon County Fairgrounds, 3700 N. Westlawn Ave., Decatur.

Shop a wide variety of annuals, perennials, native plants, house plants, succulents, hanging baskets, vegetables, and tomatoes. Master gardeners and master naturalists will be available for consultations. Don’t miss the bargain shed for new-to-you supplies and tools.

Register by April 26 by visiting Due to COVID-19 restrictions, preregistration for an individual shopping time is required this year. Masks must be worn and social distancing practiced. If you usually attend with a friend, be sure to register for two slots.

For more information, call 217-877-6042.