Dear President’s Circle Member,
More than 50 years ago George S. Avery, Jr., Ph.D., director of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, cited the importance of botanic gardens playing an “active and useful role in their communities.” Botanic gardens, he wrote, needed to fight the notion of being “a park without a place to play games, a place where plants bear labels with unpronounceable names.” Dr. Avery thought botanic gardens should offer plant-centered programs in popular education for everyone, and should partner with colleges to do so. “Botanic gardens,” he wrote, “are needed by the thousands if only they can have dynamic programs. We ought to be busy formulating the ways and means for making available a new socially slanted botany—for the education and enjoyment of all.”
Dr. Avery died in 1994, but in these early years of the twenty-first century much progress has been made toward achieving his goal. The stakes are higher: during his lifetime, climate change became a major environmental concern. In response, public gardens around the world have made environmental education and conservation a priority, and they deliver their messages through a variety of popular programs and classes—most definitely providing a “socially slanted botany.”
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a case in point. Here, our youngest children engage with nature through the Garden’s educational programs, where our skilled instructors are tasked with the very serious job of making environmental learning fun. Through Garden programs like the Science Career Continuum, we reach out to and educate teens in middle school and high school—including in underserved communities—mentoring them as they prepare for and then experience their college years. Through educational partnerships such as the graduate program in plant biology and conservation offered in collaboration with Northwestern University, we are helping to train the next generation of conservation scientists and environmental stewards. Always, we offer a variety of engaging programs for people who simply want to enjoy the Garden.
Three Friends of Winter Bonsai Silhouette Show Preview Party
Friday, January 25
5:30 to 8 p.m.
Enjoy a presentation by Kris Jarantoski, executive vice president and director, and tours by Ivan Watters, bonsai curator. The evening includes sushi, sake, and shakuhachi music. The Garden’s new book, Bonsai: A Patient Art, will be available for purchase. The book is supported by Garden board member Robert H. Malott.
Three Friends of Winter is generously supported by the Astellas USA Foundation.
Click here to register for this event, or call (847) 835-6925.
President’s Circle and Guild Wonderland Express Family Celebration
The Wonderland Express Family Holiday Celebration for President’s Circle and Guild families, held on November 20, offered festive fun for everyone. Enjoy the photos! Wonderland Express is supported by ComEd, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Discover, Drinker Biddle, and Grainger.
All Aboard! Gala Dinner
The seventh annual All Aboard! gala dinner, presented by the Woman’s Board of the Chicago Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society on November 29, was a huge success. View highlights of this special evening “A La Russe.” Proceeds support the Garden’s Green Youth Farm and Windy City Harvest programs.
calendar of events
The exciting 2013 lineup of events for President's Circle members should have appeared in your mailbox by now. Click here to see the schedule online.
Never has the Chicago Botanic Garden’s mission to promote the enjoyment, understanding, and conservation of plants and the natural world been more important. I am honored to be a part of one of the world’s great public gardens, a living museum where science and education go hand in hand with the beauty of our surroundings. The Garden plays an active and useful role in our community every day, as people of all ages, cultures, abilities, and interests learn about plants and what can be done to preserve them.
If you have not made your 2012 annual fund gift, please do so. Your support makes everything we accomplish at the Garden possible.
President & CEO
Chicago Botanic Garden