Annual Report

Equitable Admissions

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