By Sue Lambie
A groundbreaking ceremony was held September 1 for the University of Illinois (U of I) Extension Lukeman Garden & Education Center, located on property just off Lincoln and Morton avenues, which was donated by Judy Lukeman Williams, Thomas Lukeman, Tom Williams and Kelly Clancy.
This outdoor space will provide educational opportunities for community members, emphasizing research-based horticulture concepts and best practices on fruit and vegetable production, plus care and maintenance of trees, ornamental plants and native plant demonstration plots. The Lukeman Garden will also provide volunteer opportunities for the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, 4-H members and volunteers, as well as members of the community.
University of Illinois Extension County Director Aaron Dufelmeier noted that the sunflower plot, which has been planted on the field, was done so to draw community attention to the area. He also followed up, saying, “We have big ideas [for the area].”
Pictured are representatives of the Lukeman and Williams families, U of I Extension staff and Building Education Association members, Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. Also present in the photo and ceremony were Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce representatives and City of Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard.