Annual Report

The Power of Plants

Chicago Botanic Garden Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023

Plants create connections that are essential to people. And, just as important, they also allow us to eat and breathe. As green space shrinks and lives grow ever more stressful, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s role in connecting people to plants is more important than ever.

In addition, serious threats to plants, including a changing climate and the loss of biodiversity, are weakening Earth’s ecosystems and imperiling our fragile planet. At our research sites, the work Garden scientists do on plants and their pollinators provides clues to our changing climate.

Now, we want to share with others the ways in which gardens, particularly our Garden, improve the lives of people, of communities, and of our amazing and fragile planet. By sharing our Garden and all of its work, we aim to shape how people value, perceive, and care for the environment.

Central to this strategy are our mission and core beliefs


We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life.



We believe: People live better, healthier lives when they can create, care for, and enjoy gardens and green space.
We believe: Beautiful gardens and natural environments are fundamentally important to the mental and physical well-being of all people.
We believe: The future of life on Earth depends on how well we understand, value, and protect plants, other wildlife, and the natural habitats that sustain our world.


Our 5 strategic imperatives

  • Elevate, leverage, and sustain the beauty of our Garden to ensure that it is a vibrant, thriving cultural institution for future generations.
  • Advance the Garden’s role as a leading center for learning in plant science and conservation, horticulture, and education, shaping the way individuals and communities value, perceive, and care for the environment.
  • Expand the Garden’s reach to engage more people in the full breadth and depth of our work.
  • Make certain that our people and our processes are capable of meeting the needs of a large, forward-thinking, and evolving organization.
  • Grow and diversify revenue to secure our financial future.

Learn more about our plan