The Chicago Botanic Garden is committed to addressing physical, financial, and cultural barriers for our audiences. As part of this commitment and as a first step, we are excited to launch an Equitable Admissions Pilot. Through this initiative, the Garden enthusiastically commits to the following:
- Work to ensure resources and experiences are fully available and offered to all community members, along the continuum of human ability.
- Broaden access with the intention to engage more deeply with audiences who have traditionally experienced barriers to the outdoors.
- Continue to evaluate the effects of this pilot and welcome feedback from the community on how we can improve.
To increase access, the Garden offers 52 free days a year; free daily admission for Illinois educators, active-duty military personnel, and veterans; and participants in certain public benefit programs. In addition, the Equitable Admissions Pilot offers free admission year-round and free meeting space to organizations or affinity groups that meet two or more of the following criteria:
- Current community partners and alumni of our Learning and Public Program initiatives*
- BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Disability, and Immigrant-led organizations or groups
- Organizations with an operating budget under $2 million
- Organizations or groups based in the Chicago region that prioritize engaging historically disenfranchised neighborhoods in the Chicago region
*Learning and Public Program initiatives include the following: Windy City Harvest, Budburst, Interpretation, and the Science Career Continuum
For Eligible Organizations and Groups: How to Schedule Your Visit
We welcome you and your organization to schedule a visit! To schedule a visit, or if you have any questions, please email Click here to show mail address.
More information about free days can be found here.
Following are criteria for reserving meeting and gathering spaces:
- Weekday availability only
- One group reservation per day
- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Rooms available in Regenstein Center, Regenstein Learning Campus, and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center
- Groups of 40 or fewer
- Self-guided, with opportunity to meet with select Garden staff and learn about their work
- Basic PowerPoint and Zoom capabilities available; set-up of space must be communicated at time of request
- Limited availability of certain spaces from April through June
**Please send requests at least two weeks in advance. Requests are evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis