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By the Numbers

PHOTO: lily bloom Here are some quick facts about the Garden:

1965 — Construction began

1972 — Opened to the public

2,587,596 plants representing 9,694 plant varieties of 232 plant families, including the following:

  • 13,989 trees
  • 879,087 bulbs
  • 1,428,719 perennials
  • 28,032 aquatic plants
  • 65,987 shrubs

385 acres

100 acres of woods

81 acres of waterways

27 gardens and 4 natural areas

9 islands

6 miles of shoreline

15 acres of prairie

255 bird species sighted

50,000 members — the largest membership of any U.S. botanic garden

More than one million visitors annually — the second most-visited botanic garden of its size in the U.S.

1 of only 17 public gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums

1 of the top 3 urban agriculture production programs in Chicago, and the only one that awards an accredited certificate

433 adult education classes — gardening basics to botanical sketching

Programs for 22,500 schoolchildren and 500 teachers

Discovery camps, summer science programs, and scout activities for 3,000 children and teens

A renowned collection of 200 bonsai

78,000 pounds of waste composted yearly

82,000 pounds of CO2 emissions offset by solar generating methods

1,300 volunteers (you could become the 1,301st!)

150,000 volumes — including books, periodicals, special collections, videos, DVDs, slides, nursery catalogs, one of the nation's best collections of rare botanical books, plus the archives of the Chicago Horticultural Society

240 staff members, from horticulturist to librarian to aquatic staff

Best time to visit — any time, any season!