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Composting Symposium 



The symposium will be located at the Workforce Careers Center at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield. The address is 5250 Shepherd Rd., Springfield, IL 62794.  All parking lots are free and open to symposium attendees. View maps and driving directions.




12:00 – 1:00 p.m.         Networking/Lunch available for purchaseRegistration 


1:00 – 2:00 p.m.                 Breakout Session I


A. Composting– Getting Started
Jennifer Fishburn, Extension Educator, Horticulture, University of Illinois Extension
Bill Budd, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
Home composting is an easy and inexpensive way to create a valuable soil amendment. Learn more about how to turn your yard waste and food scraps into black gold for your garden. Presenters will discuss steps to successful composting.


B. Using Compost in the Garden
Gus Jones, Farmer, Small Axe Market Gardens
Andy Heck, Garden Coordinator, genHkids
Whether you are making your own compost or buying it commercially, this session will examine compost application for your garden or potted plants to increase soil nutrition and water-holding ability.


2:00 – 2:15 p.m.                 Break


1:00 – 2:30 p.m.                 Breakout Session IA (pre-registration required)


Vermicomposting Basics and Build Your Own Bin 
Ann Pictor, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Volunteer 
Using a working vermicompost bin as an example, this hands-on session explores what you need to start your own worm compost and what you need to know to be successful. Get your hands dirty as you learn how to prepare materials for the bin, harvest worm castings, and maintain a bin.  Included in the Vermicomposting Basics and BYOB workshop, participants will be able to build their own worm bin. The cost for the workshop is $20. Attendees will have the opportunity to build their own vermicompost bin for the home, office, or classroom. The workshop includes the take-home materials (including worms) necessary to begin composting and provides information on caring for a worm composting bin.


1:00 – 3:15 p.m.                 Breakout Session IB


Kids of All Ages: Composting can be Fun!
Wynne Coplea, President, Illinois Recycling Association 
Hands-on exploration of composting, including composting with worms, or Vermicomposting. Kids will be entertained and educated with compost-centered activities and games.


2:15 – 3:15 p.m.                  Breakout Session II


A. Do It Yourself Compost Bin Systems
Jennifer Fishburn, Extension Educator, Horticulture, University of Illinois Extension 
Bill Budd, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Volunteer 
Compost bins vary in size, use and cost.  Presenters will discuss how to construct bins that are free to several hundred dollars.  Bin styles that will be discussed include a wooden pallet bin, trash can composter, wire bin, concrete block bin and an urban bin system.


B. Cooking Compost with the Right Recipe 
Duanne Friend, Environmental Stewardship and Energy, University of Illinois Extension 
This session will discuss getting the right mix of carbon, nitrogen, moisture, and porosity to make your feedstocks compost quickly. Participants will be able to try several online recipe calculators that help get optimum compost performance.



A variety of composting books will be available for purchase.



Businesses or organizations related to composting or gardening are invited to exhibit at the symposium. Exhibitor space is $55, which includes one registration to the symposium (registration only; BYOB fee not included).



Lincoln Land Community College, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Recycling Association, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Department of Agriculture

For more information, call 217.786.4993 or email




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