New host of Mid-American Gardener announced

June 26, 2018

Illinois Public Media is delighted to announce Tinisha Shade-Spain as the new permanent host of Mid-American Gardener on WILL-TV.

Tinisha Shade-Spain out in the garden

Tinisha Shade-Spain, new permanent host of Mid-American Gardener on WILL-TV.

Travis Stansel / Illinois Public Media

East central Illinois viewers might recognize Tinisha from her days at WCIA, where she served as both a news reporter and anchor. Since then Tinisha has been working in economic development within her hometown of Danville, IL. Most recently she has been working toward getting her certification in the University of Illinois Extension’s Illinois Master Gardener program. 

In this new host position, Tinisha is able to bring her love for gardening and her broadcast experience together. “She is a charismatic, garden-forward person who will be able to manage conversations between experts and callers with great ease thanks to her broadcast journalism background. She also has a great vision for the show,” said Lisa Bralts, director of content and strategic communications for Illinois Public Media. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on board.”

Tinisha’s vision for the program is to show viewers how accessible and easy gardening can be, “I think a lot of people are intimidated or don't feel like they have time, and neither of those things are true. If you've got a dollar for a pack of seeds and a few minutes, you can do it."

She is also looking forward to taking discussions of urban and backyard farming/gardening to the next level while also keeping the topics and advice within Mid-American Gardener’s localized lens. “We need more young people growing food and flowers. We need more kids breaking beans and picking apples. I want to help make that happen in our communities via the program,” she explained.

Tinisha has already begun to observe the program from behind the scenes in preparation for her official, on-camera introduction during the show on Thursday, June 28. Her first show as the host of Mid-American Gardener will be July 12.

Mid-American Gardener broadcasts live Thursday nights at 7 pm on WILL-TV.