In 1962, a group of visionaries began planning for a public garden to be built outside of Chicago on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. A decade later, the Chicago Botanic Garden welcomed its first visitors. Funding needs then, as now, were met by public and private contributions made possible by individuals who shared the dream. Today, 40 years later, the Garden has grown in beauty and importance to its ever-expanding constituency. Its funding requirements have grown as well.
Happy 40th birthday to the Chicago Botanic Garden! There is much to celebrate as we reflect on the evolution of this extraordinary place, and anticipate its future. Last year, the Garden completed the second year of its ten-year strategic plan, “Keep Growing.” In every way, 2011 exemplified this theme.