The President's Circle

Dear President's Circle Members

Trellis BridgeOn the first Saturday of June, the Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates World Environment Day, a global celebration that unites people who share a commitment to protect and preserve the natural world.

At the heart of the Garden’s mission, the natural world is facing unprecedented challenges. Our ten-year strategic plan is guided by our belief that the future of life on Earth depends on the degree to which humans understand, value, and protect plants and the healthy habitats on which they depend.

That is why on Saturday, June 4, Garden scientists, ecologists, and horticulturists will lead activities and give tours designed to increase understanding of the benefits plants provide as well as the environmentally sound practices that help protect them. Our goal is to inspire action at home and in the workplace. Because one person—of any age—can make a difference, the daylong schedule of events includes family-friendly activities.

Please join me at 9 a.m. for a ceremony to open the Trellis Bridge, as stunning in its design as it is rich in meaning. Connecting Evening Island to the Bernice E. Lavin Evaluation Garden and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center, the Trellis Bridge establishes the link between display gardens and natural ecosystems as well as the need for plant conservation research. I deeply appreciate Will and Tricia Hagenah for making possible a bridge that improves access to the Plant Science Center for our visitors, students, and staff, and thank Leonard Lavin and the Lavin Family Foundation for once again demonstrating their commitment to furthering knowledge of plants.

The theme of 2011 World Environment Day is “International Year of Forests.” I encourage you to attend the keynote address by Nalini Nadkarni, Ph.D., a National Geographic Live lecturer known as the “queen of canopy research.” The afternoon lecture is by Michael Potts, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute—whose mission to promote the efficient use of resources includes consulting on Garden projects. Click here to purchase tickets to these lectures on the Garden’s website.

Finally, on behalf of the Chicago Botanic Garden, please join me in thanking our World Environment Day corporate partners. Their commitment to increasing awareness and action contributes to a healthier world with beautiful and abundant plant life, for the benefit of us all.

With summer just around the corner, I anticipate the pleasure of seeing you at our many President’s Circle events.

My best to you and your family,

Sophia Siskel
President & CEO
Chicago Botanic Garden