The President's Circle

Welcome to the July E-Newsletter


Dear President’s Circle Member,

Family in Fruit and Vegetable GardenRead Sophia's letter on a special day for active members of the military and their families.






You're invited!

Urban Harvest TourUrban Harvest Tour:
North Lawndale, Chicago


Tuesday, July 26
Bus departs from the Chicago Botanic Garden at 9 a.m. and returns at 5 p.m. $100 per person


Join Angela Mason, the Gardenís director of community gardening, to go behind the scenes at urban farms managed by the Chicago Botanic Garden. The tour includes stops at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, North Lawndale Green Youth Farm, Windy City Harvest, and Cook County Sheriffís Boot Camp. Guests will enjoy a fresh hot lunch prepared by Green Youth Farm students using the produce they grow on site. Reservations are required. Please call (847) 835-6925 for more information.


Happy HourHappy Hour in the Bernice E. Lavin Plant Evaluation Garden

Thursday, August 25
5 to 7 p.m.
$10 per person

Celebrate summer and the new Trellis Bridge connecting Evening Island to the Plant Science Center while enjoying refreshments, good company, and warm evening air in the redesigned Bernice E. Lavin Plant Evaluation Garden!

Register online or call the Presidentís Circle hotline, (847) 835-6925, today.



save the date

Farm DinnerFarm Dinner

Wednesday, September 7
5 to 8 p.m.
$150 per Presidentís Circle member

The Garden invites you to celebrate food as we bring together local farmers, winemakers, breweries, and our own Green Youth Farm for a spectacular multicourse meal. Our talented chef, Cleetus Friedman, will wow your palate as we explore the relationship between the earth and the food you will enjoy. The summer Farm Dinner series is generously supported by Harris Private Bank.

To register for the Farm Dinner on September 7, please call (847) 835-6925. If you cannot attend in September but would like to attend in August, please register online.

An Afternoon with Patrick BlancAn Afternoon with Patrick Blanc

Wednesday, September 7
Lecture and book signing, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Reception, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
$50 per person

Join French botanist and designer Patrick Blanc as he discusses his amazing living vertical gardens. Renowned for having injected biodiversity back into built-up areas, he has installed vertical gardens internationally in hotels, restaurants, lounges, museums, showrooms, and numerous other public buildings. Following the lecture, Presidentís Circle members are invited to a light reception.

Register online or call the Presidentís Circle hotline, (847) 835-6925, today.

An Afternoon with Michael Van ValkenburghAn Afternoon with Michael Van Valkenburgh

Wednesday, September 21
Lecture, 11 a.m. to noon
Lunch Reception, Noon to 2 p.m.
$100 per person

Landscape architect and designer Michael Van Valkenburgh demonstrates his passion for landscape as a living artistic medium that deepens and enriches peopleís lives through the confluence of aesthetics, technology, and ecology. Join Van Valkenburgh as he looks back at the projects and experiences that led to his design of the Chicago Botanic Gardenís Spider Island, and discusses how Spider Island influenced his later work. Following the lecture, guests are invited to an exclusive Presidentís Circle lunch reception.

Register online or call the Presidentís Circle hotline, (847) 835-6925.

President's Circle Trip:
Palm Beach and Hobe Sound, Florida


February 8 – 12, 2012

Exclusive travel opportunity for members of the Presidentís Circle! Space will be limited; invitations will be mailed first to President's Circle members who support the Garden at the Chairman's Circle and Laureate Member levels, then the Sustaining Member level, and then the Founding Member level.


photo album

An Afternoon with Piet Oudolf An Afternoon with Piet Oudolf

On June 7, Presidentís Circle members enjoyed a fascinating lecture presented by renowned garden and landscape designer, Piet Oudolf. After his lecture, guests enjoyed a summery reception in the Runnells Courtyard.




Hyde Park AdventureHyde Park Adventure

Presidentís Circle members toured Hyde Park in the first of this yearís Bus Tour Series on June 15. The tour included a visit to the Museum of Science and Industryís Smart Home, Dyett/Washington Park Green Youth Farm, and the Beatrix Farrand Courtyard at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. At the Institute, director Gil Stein presented a lecture on archeobotany, followed by a gorgeous reception at Todd Schwebelís historic Hyde Park home and garden. A special thank you goes to Todd for being such a gracious and welcoming host.

View photographs from past Presidentís Circle events (the password is ďcircleĒ).


Upcoming Garden Events

Barilla Italian Cooking WeekendBarilla Italian Cooking Weekend

Saturday and Sunday,
August 6 and 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Barilla Italian Cooking Weekend returns! Barilla and local chefs will present three daily cooking demonstrations using fresh Italian ingredients. Demonstrations are free but seating at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden amphitheater is first come, first served.


Lake and Pond ShorelinesLake and Pond Shorelines: Controlling Erosion and Enhancing Habitat

Wednesday, August 17,
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$44 member/$55 nonmember

Join Bob Kirschner, Womanís Board endowed curator of aquatic plant and urban lake studies, as he reviews the Gardenís extensively restored lakeshores as an ideal classroom to demonstrate techniques that stabilize shoreline soils and enhance water quality and aquatic habitat.


Fall Bulb FestivalFall Bulb Festival

Members-only preview bulb shopping, Friday, September 30, 10 a.m. to noon Open to the public, Friday, September 30, noon to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Woman’s Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society presents its annual Fall Bulb Festival, including the bulb sale featuring 200 varieties and a fall market comprising vendors selling pottery, baked goods, honey, and more.




Upcoming Events

Please click on each of the photos above for information on these fun ways to enjoy the Garden.



On Wednesday, June 29, I was delighted to attend a lecture by Dean Tonenna, a botanist with the Bureau of Land Management in Carson City, Nevada. Tonenna, a member of the Kootzatukadu, a Native American tribe in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, shared with Garden staff and our Conservation and Land Management (CLM) interns how he integrates traditional botanical knowledge that has passed on to him with his formal training in plant biology and ecology to better manage public lands. Thank you, Dean, for being a valued mentor to our CLM interns.

I also want to thank Susan Canmann, whose term as Co-chair ended in June, for her outstanding service to the Presidentís Circle. Ben Lenhardt graciously agreed to take her place and now serves alongside Jane OíNeil. I look forward to working with Jane and Ben as we plan another year of unique and noteworthy activities for members of the Presidentís Circle.

With warm regards,


Sophia Siskel
President & CEO
Chicago Botanic Garden


Sophia Siskel
President & CEO

Jane O’Neil
Ben Lenhardt
Presidentís Circle
Co-chairs

In This Issue:

Sophia's Letter
Urban Harvest
   Tour
Happy Hour
Farm Dinner
Patrick Blanc
Michael Van
   Valkenburgh
Palm Beach Trip
Photo Album
Barilla Weekend
Lake Shoreline
Fall Bulb Festival
Hot Summer Nights Garden Clubs of Illinois District IX Show Kite Festival