Jill Fox, president of Tri-Village Garden Club of Bartlett, Hanover Park and Streamwood received the "State Outstanding Master Gardener" award from Cook County Master Gardeners and was recognized at the State Convention in September.
Jill Fox has been a Master Gardener since 2007. Within the last five years, Fox has volunteered 507.5 hours. She has volunteered at Kid's On Track, Little City and at the bimonthly Master Gardener potlucks.
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Her leadership abilities have been well used at the Kid's On Track Program, which is a program for the children of migrant workers at Arlington Racecourse. Fox has helped in every aspect of the program from planning to execution.
She is also gifted in working with various audiences. Fox has been volunteering regularly for more than three years at Little City, working with developmentally disabled adults in the Horticulture Therapy program. She works with the resident's one-on-one and is able to make a difference in the lives of those she works with regularly.
There Fox works with residents in the greenhouse during the off season and in the pumpkin patch during the growing season. She helps educate residents on the life cycle of plants and the care/maintenance of plants, providing instruction and demonstration as well as working "hand-over-hand" with residents who need that type of support, said Kelly Nelson, the Little City horticulture therapist.
"She has contributed activity ideas, information about plants, gardening and ways to make materials and opportunities accessible for individuals," said Kelly Nelson, the Little City horticulture therapist," Nelson said "She has demonstrated great patience and compassion for the needs of the residence, regularly remembering special occasions and bringing items (treats and gifts) for all residents she works with. Her relationship with the individuals she works with is probably the most outstanding contribution she has made. It is through her relationships that she is able to share her love for gardening and the amazing life of plants."
In addition, Fox was able to get plants donated which were used at campus and in group homes in the community and also created the planting layout for both fields this season, Nelson added.
"She demonstrates a great deal of knowledge on plants and is always eager to "solve" a dilemma we're having with identifying a plant, pest or disease, usually providing me with the solution before I even get a chance to do my own research," Nelson said. "Jill's dedication to her volunteer work is exemplary."
Fox also worked a community garden plat at an Arlington Heights church where she grew produce for the Hanover Food Pantry.
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