As someone deeply committed to the Chicago Botanic Garden, you appreciate the breadth of what it has accomplished since it opened in 1972. While young among botanic gardens, the Garden is already well known as one of the great gardens of the world.
But, despite its stature and popularity—and the impact it has on the lives of others—the Garden, like each of us, must keep growing. We are so much more than a pretty place. Our recent focus on science and science education has mirrored the public’s interest in, and need to understand, the complex relationship between humans and the environment. And plants need informed and committed advocates. As we mature toward our 40th birthday, the Garden is even more committed to fulfilling your needs—so your relationship with the Garden can help you live a better, healthier, and more satisfying life.
Recognizing the opportunity to address these important needs, I am pleased to announce that on December 8, the Garden’s Board of Directors approved a new 10-year strategic plan. Using the theme “Keep Growing,” the plan acknowledges the Garden’s exceptional past accomplishments as the starting point on a decade-long path. We are strong now and will only keep growing—extending our reach, deepening our impact, and amplifying the vital contributions the Garden makes to people, plants, and plant conservation science around the world.
The plan is founded on visions of what the Garden will become in four areas: buildings and gardens, visitor experience and marketing, community education, and science and academic affairs. These strategic “pillars” are the basis for plans that, over the next 10 years, will deepen the Garden’s impact across all program areas and audiences, broaden its recognition, and improve the health of our natural world for present and future generations. Importantly, to ensure its financial strength over time, the strategic plan also addresses risks in the Garden’s business model.
I strongly encourage members of the President’s Circle—the Garden’s most important donor community—to read the new strategic plan. As always, I hope you will come to me with your questions or suggestions on ways to enhance the Garden’s future.
I look forward to seeing you soon.