January President's Circle Letter

Dear President’s Circle Member,

Preckwinkle, Siskel, and Randall

In 1968, Chicago leaders had a vision for a botanic garden. That vision became a reality in 1972, when the Botanic Garden of the Chicago Horticultural Society opened to the public with one completed garden and an ambitious site plan. Last month, the Chicago Botanic Garden—now grown to 26 distinct gardens and four natural areas—reached one million annual visitors for the first time in its history. This milestone reflects the Garden’s growing relevance in people’s lives in so many ways—for serenity, wellness, education, and conservation.

The Garden’s success would not be possible without our Garden staff and volunteers, as well as the members of our three boards and more than 50,000 loyal member households. The Garden also benefits tremendously from its successful public-private partnership with the Forest Preserves of Cook County. On December 12, I presented the 2013 Hutchinson Medal to Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Forest Preserves Board of Commissioners, and general superintendent Arnold Randall in recognition of the role the Forest Preserves has played in furthering horticulture, plant science, and conservation.

As a President’s Circle member, you play a special role in helping the Garden to keep growing. Your collective support has enabled the Garden to pursue some important capital improvements over the years, and in 2014 we will move forward with some exciting new projects. Click here to learn more.

I look forward to seeing you this year at one of our many events, listed in the 2014 President’s Circle calendar. Now that the record-setting low temperatures have eased a bit, I am able to again enjoy winter walks around the Garden, and I hope you are able to do the same. Though the extreme snowfall this winter (34.7 inches by January 6, compared to 1.3 inches last winter) disrupted our daily routines, at the Garden it added to the beauty and peace visitors experience here during this still, quiet time of year.

Warm regards,
Sophia Shaw