This is a story about people with big dreams. It’s a story about imagination and growing new things. It’s a story about the past and also about the future. This is a story about the Chicago Botanic Garden: who we were, who we are, and who we might become.
Go behind the scenes, into our archives, and back 50 years—and see the Chicago Botanic Garden flourish from an idea to a world-class living museum. Told through objects, images, personal narratives, and film, this story has it all: memorable characters, plot twists, and a setting like no other. Read personal stories from Garden staff and volunteers while you walk through a timeline of important milestones and artifacts.
To the Future
In this original artwork, commissioned for the Garden’s 50th birthday, local artist Sam Kirk illustrates our possible future. More than 40 Garden scientists, horticulturists, educators, and youth program participants generated the ideas represented here. By definition and design our living museum will never be completed. We will always be learning and changing. Where will the Garden be in ten years, or when we celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2072? Together, let’s find out as we continue planting seeds, and growing our future.
Memories and Dreams Forest
Exhibition visitors are building our Memories & Dreams Forest, and you are invited to join too! Have you experienced anything funny, beautiful, profound, or surprising at the Garden? Do you have any thoughts or ideas about the Garden's future? Share your memories and dreams through sketches and hand-written stories that will be on display throughout the exhibition. All languages and sketch styles are welcome.