Since becoming a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener in 2007, Kathy Michel has been a dedicated, reliable, and tireless volunteer for the Ogle County Master Gardener program. She has exhibited enthusiasm for all activities related to the Master Gardener mission of “Helping Others Learn to Grow.”

Kathy is involved in many of the Ogle County Master Gardener programs, including speaker’s bureau, plant sale and Extension’s one day garden symposium – Ready, Set, Grow. She spends many hours preparing for her presentations and helps others with their presentations as well. Kathy especially shines as a mentor to new trainees.

Deb Bryant shares, “As a Master Gardener intern, I have found Kathy to be patient, kind, and helpful to me every step of the way. She takes the time to teach me the ins and outs of presentations. Each time I am with Kathy, I am impressed with her vast horticulture knowledge, coupled with her genuine kindness and compassion for all.”

Kathy’s involvement exceeds all else as the driving force behind a Horticulture Therapy program that began in July 2014. Her compassion and desire to share her horticulture knowledge is what led her to propose a year-round therapeutic horticulture program in the area. Kathy took the initiative to research other therapeutic horticulture programs and meet with directors of local facilities to host these programs; beginning in July 2014, the Ogle County Master Gardeners have been visiting with Pinecrest Community, Oregon Living and Rehabilitation and the Village of Progress once each month to share a horticulture lesson and do an activity, ranging from planting gardens to floral design.

Kathy is a truly dedicated volunteer who is not only an excellent mentor to new Master Gardener trainees, but is also a wonderful role model for her Master Gardener peers and community members. Kathy is a life-long learner and encourages others to do the same. She is constantly expanding her knowledge through various trainings, such as the ‘I Think Green’ trainings, and is eager to share her knowledge and passion for gardening with others.

University of Illinois Extension congratulates Kathy Michel and appreciates the thousands of hours Master Gardener volunteers contribute to our community. The service the Master Gardeners share positively impacts communities and individuals throughout Illinois.

If you have been helped by Master Gardeners and would like to serve your community through this unique horticultural education program, now is your chance. In 2016, Master Gardener training will be held in DeKalb County and Whiteside County. DeKalb County training will be held at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau building in Sycamore every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting on Feb. 17 and ending on May 4. Whiteside County training will be held at the Whiteside County Extension office in Sterling every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon starting on Jan. 9 and ending on April 16. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the Ogle County Extension office at 815-732-2191 or visit us online at

Ogle County Master Gardener Honored

Ogle County Master Gardener Kathy Michel

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