Parking  |  Tickets  |  Join


Woman’s Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society

Click here if you are a Woman's Board member.

Woman's Board Events

Founded in 1951, the Woman’s Board and its members have been ambassadors for the Garden; all are dedicated to horticulture, conservation, and education. 

An early mission of the Chicago Horticultural Society was to find and develop a permanent headquarters and garden center to serve the Chicago area. The Woman’s Board was established to help build membership for the society, and it further pledged to sponsor new programs, activities, and fundraising projects.

The Woman’s Board developed the Fragrant Garden for the Blind, which opened in 1957 at the Chicago Lighthouse. In 1966, the first plant sale was held—six years before the Chicago Botanic Garden opened to the public in 1972. The Board also introduced the Zimmerman lecture series, a successful and long-running project. Today, Woman’s Board events such as A Rare Affair, the All Aboard! gala, and the Fall Bulb Festival continue to draw people to the Garden, raising funds to support a myriad of programs. 

The Garden Shop and the Lenhardt Library also have their roots in work done by the Woman’s Board. In the 1970s the Board established the Garden Shop; its proceeds still provide needed funds. When the Chicago Horticultural Society moved into the early Garden buildings, the Woman’s Board had the first collection of library books installed there. 

In 2015, the Woman’s Board completed its final year of “Growing the Future,” a $1 million pledge to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Proceeds from “Growing the Future” have supported the Garden’s Windy City Harvest Youth Farm and Windy City Harvest community gardening programs, enabled renovation of the English Walled Garden as well as restoration of areas damaged by the emerald ash borer, and supported fellowships for the plant biology and conservation graduate program, a collaboration between the Garden and Northwestern University. The last program to be underwritten is the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Learning Campus, which provides programs such as Science First to Chicago Public Schools students.

In January of 2016, the Woman’s Board renewed their pledge with “Growing the Future II,”  which supports the mission of the Chicago Botanic Garden: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life.


Nancy Kurz

Anne Healy
First Vice President & Program Chair

Mary Hill
Second Vice President & Membership Committee Chair

Barbara Kehoe
Third Vice President & Nominating Committee

Jill Delaney
Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair

Nancy Dorr

Active Members

Dora Aalbregtse
Ann Balusek
Janice Beck
Marianne Bestler
Calvine Bowen
Barbara Brown
Bean Carroll
Sue Cozzens
Kristen Chun
Alicia Crawford
Jill Danaher
Mary Dolan
Valerie Foradas
Katie Ford
Lynn Foster
Alice Goltra
Susan Green
Betsy Hough
Beth Jernigan
Marcy Johnson
Betsy Karp
Carolyn Katz
Liz Kendall
Kitty Kirby
Lizbeth Kohler
May Cat Kneibler
Judy Konen
Liz Lavezzorio
Celine Lillie
Joani Lowry
Patsy Magner
Valerie Maniscalco
Jennifer Martay
Michelle McCarthy
Michelle McKenna
Betty McLean
Madeleine McMullan
Barbara Metzler
Mary Alice Miller
Kate Morris
LouEllen Murray
Nicole Peterson
Juli Priebe
Elizabeth Pruett
Marina Puryear
Carole Read
Glo Rolighed
Carole Sandner
Lisa Schilling
Beth Schroeder
Melissa Shennan
Lisa Smyth
Susan Spears
Angela Stensrud
Jennifer Tippet
Susan Tupper
Sophie Twichell
Jeanie Van Nice
Cassandra Vermillion
Kim Visokey

Honorary Members

Liz Crowe

Associate Members

Cheri Allen
Mary Boyer
Chris Chandler
Catherine Denckla
Marilyn Heath
Lucia Heyworth
Hélène James
Weezie Monroe
Brooks Morgan
Ginny Noyes
Patti Ross
Lois Steans
Margie Strauch
Louise Tausché

Nonresident Members

Liz Bacon
Liz Farwell
Barbara Hansen
Lorill Haynes
Judy Herb
Penny Horne
Gina Jannotta
Roberta Lynch
Gwen McConnaughy
Gail Miller
Heather Scott
Susie Volckens