Since the Garden opened in 1972, it has continually evolved, becoming a place of exceptional beauty with 24 display gardens, three native habitats, and more than 2.3 million plants in its collection. Each year it delights, inspires, and touches the lives of more than three-quarters of a million visitors from around the world.
Twenty-five years later, in 1997, the School of the Botanic Garden was opened to create more opportunities for gardeners to learn about plants and the natural world. Renamed in 2003 and rededicated in 2006, the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden today offers more than 400 adult education classes, certificate and professional programs, and symposia featuring experts in their fields. The school provides the pleasures of learning, of exploring new ideas, and opens doors to new careers.
Now, as the world faces critical challenges, the Garden continues to evolve.
This month we celebrate the opening of the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center, a 38,000-square-foot laboratory building where Garden scientists are expanding their efforts to address plant conservation problems caused by climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, and pollution.
The Plant Science Center was made possible by the generous support of many President’s Circle members and other donors. Over $35 million has been raised during turbulent economic times because of the compelling need to save the planet by saving plants. I hope the research made possible by the Plant Science Center continues to inspire you. Much important work lies ahead.
Please join me in celebrating the Plant Science Center at the benefit dinner on Monday, September 21. Together we will honor the Garden’s history as we celebrate its future as a leader in plant conservation science.
I look forward to seeing you there!