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This Year's Theme: Biodiversity

World Environment Day


Saturday, June 3, 2017

There are activities for all ages taking place at World Environment Day.

From interactive programs to ongoing demonstrations and displays, enjoy a day of tips, tricks, and educational displays and activities throughout the Garden's family-friendly "science festival."

Continuous shuttle service is provided throughout the day from the Visitor Center to the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center, and the Garden trolley will be providing shuttle service from the Glencoe Metra station from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.

Family Fun

Live Music at World Environment Day


Live Music on the Family Entertainment Stage
  • 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.
    Live music: Jodi Koplin’s Jigglejam!
  • 1:30 and 2:45 p.m.
    Live music: Wendy & DB and the Funn Band
All Day
  • A World of Birds: make your own bird’s nest to take home.
  • Become a citizen scientist with project BudBurst.
  • Play a game on a giant map of Illinois.

Plant Science Center

All Day
  • Dig in the soil and take part in fieldwork games.
  • Make your own herbarium sheet and try the seed counter machine.

Critters Galore!

Regenstein Learning Campus

All Day
  • Learn about native pollinators and how to attract them to your garden, and take a selfie with a larger-than-life butterfly.
  • Critters Galore! View a variety of wildlife up close, learn about macroinvertebrates at the Kleinman Family Cove, and see how many moths live in the McDonald Woods.
  • Make your own native seed ball to take home.

Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden

All Day
  • What’s the current buzz with bees? Check out the hives and meet the beekeepers.
  • Hang out with backyard chickens, and meet chicken experts from Home to Roost.
  • Play the "what's on your plate" game.

Free Film Screenings

Alsdorf Auditorium

Both film screenings are free; preregistration not required; parking fees apply

Chicago’s True Nature: The Forest Preserves of Cook County

  • 10 a.m.
    Chicago’s True Nature: The Forest Preserves of Cook County

    See a 20-minute version of the documentary spotlighting our Forest Preserves and all they have to offer. While the Preserves are well known for family parties and cookouts, they should be better known for their vast biodiversity. Like many natural wonders, the Forest Preserves are “hidden in plain sight.”

    A panel discussion will follow the screening, featuring John McCabe, director of the department of Resource Management; Frank Veraldi, restoration ecologist for the  Army Corps of Engineers; and Greg Mueller, Ph.D., chief scientist and Negaunee Foundation Vice President of Science at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Tom Skilling

  • 1:30 p.m.
    Chasing Ice

    This film, a favorite of Tom Skilling, is the story of James Balog’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. See revolutionary time-lapse footage of a multiyear record of the world’s changing glaciers.

    Tom Skilling will answer questions after the film.


Food at World Environment Day

Farmers' Market


  • Farmers' Market Stand: Windy City Harvest will sell their fresh, organically grown produce all day.

Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  • 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.
    Garden Chef Series demonstrations: Ellen King, Hewn Bakery

Garden View Café

  • Open all day, serving breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks

Learn From the Experts

World Environment Day on the Esplanade


All Day
  • Bryo-diversity: It’s All About Moss!
  • Ecofriendly Lawn Care
  • Choosing and Using Mulches
  • Native Plants for Chicago Gardens
  • Forest Preserves of Cook County, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, and others 

Native Plant Garden

  • 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
    Tour the Native Plant Garden with Joan O’Shaughnessy

Rooftop Garden Tour

Plant Science Center

  • 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
    Green Roof Tour with Richard Hawke
  • 11 a.m. – noon and 1 – 2 p.m.
    Pollinator Study in Lavin Evaluation Garden with Kay Havens
  • 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
    Genetics (DNA) Lab Mini-Talks with Jeremie Fant
  • Noon – 1 p.m. and 2 – 3 p.m.
    Quadrat Study for Biodiversity with Pati Vitt

World Environment Day Plant Science Center

All Day
  • How tos on rain gardens and creating habitats at home
  • Try out the Seed Bank's counting machine, and make a herbarium sheet
  • Talk to plant conservation science graduate students and Plants of Concern volunteers
  • Expert information on soil, habitats, seed banking, conservation, and more
  • Take home a free butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) seedling for visiting monarchs

Regenstein Learning Campus

  • 1 p.m.
    Meet the Moths with Jim Steffen (45-minute talk geared toward older children and adults)

Critters Galore!

All Day
  • Learn about pollinators, their native species, attracting them, and meet a beekeeper
  • Critters Galore! View a variety of wildlife up close, and learn about macroinvertebrates at the Kleinman Family Cove
  • Take a selfie with the larger-than-life bee
  • Take home a free butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and information about the monarchs it will attract

Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden

All Day
  • Attention gardeners: Perennial edibles and heirloom growing information from the experts, plus transplants for sale
  • Crop focus displays: Corn and grains with Windy City Harvest
  • What’s the current buzz with bees? Check out the hives and meet the beekeepers.
  • Hang out with backyard chickens and chicken experts from Home to Roost. 
  • Giveaways: Tiny But Mighty heirloom popcorn samples, Wisconsin Lakes sweet pepper seedlings, and Lemon Queen sunflower seeds

Inside the Regenstein Center

Lenhardt Library

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Biodiversity Through the Ages: Darwin, Humboldt, and Wallace, selections on view in the Rare Book Room
All Day
  • Books on biodiversity
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library that preserves and digitizes collections

Joutras Gallery

All Day
  • Exhibition: Roberto Burle Marx

World Environment Day is generously supported by

BaxterITWNorthshore University Health SystemUL