Spring is finally making its appearance at the Garden. Swelling buds on trees, blue scilla and yellow daffodils, and the first red shoots of peonies are emerging from the soil. We are starting to see flashes of color as migrating birds fly through and groups of schoolchildren are again busy exploring outside. Our attendance reflects the loyal and increasing support for the Garden. This past March was the best in Chicago Botanic Garden history, up 54 percent from 2008. Thanks to the President’s Circle, the Annual Fund has eclipsed year-to-date from 2008. Please help us by continuing your remarkable support.
The President’s Circle program of events continues to thrive with exclusive engaging events such as the recent sold-out President’s Circle inaugural travel trip to historic Charleston. I would like to offer a special thank you to Susan Stone for spearheading the trip and to Ben and Cindy Lenhardt, our outstanding hosts. All of their hard work and meticulous attention to detail allowed President’s Circle members a rare opportunity to view historical private homes, beautiful gardens, and plantations. Please click here to view photographs from this visit.
On April 7, President’s Circle members were treated to a sneak peek of the Garden’s spring plantings with a lunch and tour led by Kris Jarantoski, Garden director and executive vice president. Attendees toured the production greenhouses with Kris and Brian Clark, manager of plant production. Please click here to view photos.
Another popular President’s Circle exclusive is the series of behind-the-scenes hard-hat tours with Dr. Greg Mueller, the Garden’s new vice president of science and academic programs. Due to popular demand, we have scheduled additional monthly tours leading up to the opening on September 21 with special guest Michael Pollan. Come and see for yourself the latest developments at the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center! Miles of electrical wires have been pulled through conduit and soon will supply power to mechanical equipment and lights. The atrium, labs, and offices all have taken shape and have a “construction aesthetic,” including primed drywall, ceiling grids without tiles, and concrete floors. Ceramic tiles have been laid on bathroom floors and walls. It is becoming easier to imagine the building in its final Gold LEED-certified form!
I would also like to bring your attention to an exciting event on Friday, June 5, World Environment Day. We have a remarkable schedule of events at the Garden that day, all focused on the benefits and challenges of urban farming. Join us.
I look forward to seeing you here soon. Remember, one of the benefits of President’s Circle membership is a behind-the-scenes golf-cart tour. Call Paula Clair today at (847)835-8308 to make a date!