Dear President’s Circle Member,
During a trip to the post office recently, I saw a commemorative stamp marking the centennial of Lady Bird Johnson’s birth. On the sheet containing the stamp was this quote: “For the environment after all is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is one thing that all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.”
Lady Bird had a sense of place that came from being close to the land when she grew up in East Texas. As the wife of the 36th president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Lady Bird used her position to persuade a national audience that the beauty of nature was a great resource, and must not be squandered. She viewed her campaign to restore natural beauty, first within Washington, D.C., then along the nation’s highways, as a healing balm to a nation in turmoil from external conflicts such as the Vietnam War and internal strife focusing on civil rights.
It took time, and huge effort, but gradually Lady Bird and her supporters enacted the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, aimed at clearing billboards from along the national highway system and replenishing the land with wildflowers. Today, a lasting legacy is the requirement that a percentage of funds expended for landscaping projects in the highway system be used to plant native flowers, plants, and trees. In the years following LBJ’s presidency, Lady Bird created a wildflower research center in Austin, Texas; today, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a national leader in native flower research and education.
I think Lady Bird, who died in 2007, would have loved our Dixon Prairie. Lady Bird left a legacy to the nation, and here, on 15 acres representing six types of native prairie, Suzanne S. Dixon has enabled the Chicago Botanic Garden to create a unique legacy as well. Today, less than one-tenth of one percent of the original tallgrass prairie remains. Thanks to the generous support of Sue Dixon and her husband Wes, the Garden preserves a living history of our prairie state and provides a living laboratory for our conservation scientists. On May 16, Sue will receive the 2013 Chicago Horticultural Society Medal during a celebration of our partnership with Northwestern University. Throughout the growing season, when the Dixon Prairie is abloom with native wildflowers, I will forever be reminded of two remarkable and farsighted women—Sue Dixon and Lady Bird Johnson. Through their work to improve the environment, they have shown by example the best we can become.
This President’s Circle Newsletter is filled with information about upcoming events—including the Antiques & Garden Fair Preview Evening on Thursday, April 18. I hope to see you there!
save the date
Garden Heritage Society Dinner
Tuesday, May 28
If you have included the Chicago Botanic Garden in a will or trust provision or in a planned gift, you are invited to attend the Garden Heritage Society dinner on May 28. If you are not currently a member of the Society, to ensure that you receive your invitation please contact Patty Shanahan at (847) 835-6838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Antiques & Garden Fair Preview Evening
Thursday, April 18
6 to 10 p.m.
This year’s Antiques & Garden Fair is from Friday, April 19, through Sunday, April 21, and explores the theme of “Color in the Garden.” A special Antiques & Garden Fair Preview Evening offers guests an opportunity to enjoy priority shopping, sumptuous buffets, and libations.
Click here for more information, including ticket prices. To make a reservation by phone, please call (847) 835-6944.
Romancing the Olive
Lecture by Carol Drinkwater
Thursday, April 25
2 to 3 p.m.
$20 for members
Join us for a lecture by actress and author Carol Drinkwater that will transport us along her journey of discovering the rich history and culture of the olive tree. Her travel books, The Olive Route and The Olive Tree, have inspired a recently completed five-part documentary film series entitled The Olive Route.
This event is presented by the Garden Conservancy and the Chicago Botanic Garden, and co-sponsored by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.
State of the Garden Address
Saturday, May 11
11 a.m. to noon
Join President and CEO Sophia Siskel in the Regenstein Center for an informal address and review of the Garden’s accomplishments, goals, and expectations for the future. Light refreshments will be served at this complimentary event.
Please R.S.V.P. if you plan to attend.
Mother’s Day Brunch
Sunday, May 12
9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m.
Reserve your place for a delicious, leisurely brunch at the Garden. Choose a time that works best for your family, and plan a memorable outing that includes a walk before or after the meal.
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
calendar of events
The complete 2013 listing of President’s Circle events is now available.
With gratitude for your support of the Chicago Botanic Garden,
President & CEO
Chicago Botanic Garden
President & CEO
In This Issue:
• Garden Heritage
• AGF Preview
• Romancing the
• State of the
• Mother's Day