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Grand Garden In The Works For Morton Arboretum Centennial Celebration

Grand Garden In The Works For Morton Arboretum Centennial Celebration

The Morton Arboretum has a new garden in the works to celebrate its centennial in 2022.

The Grand Garden will be a 2-acre space taking its inspiration from the Arboretum’s Hedge Garden created in 1934. It will feature three main spaces: Centennial Plaza, the Celebration Garden and the Joy of Plants Garden. Each will have its own unique twist, while honoring the history and layout of the earlier garden.

Celebration Terrace Morton

Celebration Terrace

“The Grand Garden will become a new centerpiece of the Arboretum guest experience—it will be a must-see destination,” said President and CEO Gerard T. Donnelly, Ph.D in a press release. “It will appeal to the public’s appetite for beauty and experience, with colorful plantings, delightful water features and spaces designed for celebration and joy in a gorgeous outdoor landscape garden.”

Funded Through Philanthropy


Groundbreaking Ceremony

Ground was broken on the $15 million space on June 30. The new garden is being funded through donations, with Doris Christopher, founder and chairman of Pampered Chef, Anna Ball and Susannah Ball, and the Hamill Family Foundation each pitching in seven-figure philanthropic gifts.

“I am delighted to be among those who support this new garden during what is a milestone moment in the Arboretum’s history,” Doris Christopher said. “The beauty, charm and immersive experience this garden will offer appealed to me, as I know it will to the members and visitors who will enjoy it long into the future.”

Joy of Plants

Joy of Plants Garden

More than $12.6 million has been raised so far for the special project, which is set to open in September 2022.

Tree Planting Initiative

But the garden isn’t the only thing planned for the arboretum’s centennial. There’s also a major tree planting initiative in the works. Through it, more than 1,000 trees will be planted throughout the seven-county Chicago area.

“The regional forest is vital to the health and wellbeing of communities, as it currently provides $416 million in annual ecosystem services,” Donnelly said, adding, “For the next century and beyond, the Arboretum’s centennial tree plantings will provide essential benefits to people, such as clean air, improved health, stormwater management, shade and natural beauty.”

Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.

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