Chicago Botanic Garden Spring 2019
Chicago Botanic Garden Spring 2019
OFFICERS Robert F. Finke, Chair David Casper, Vice Chair and Chair, Finance & Investment, and Treasurer Jill M. Delaney, Vice Chair and Chair, Buildings, Gardens, and Visitor Experience Timothy A. Dugan, Vice Chair, Nominating & Governance Peter Ellis, Vice Chair, Government Relations John L. Howard, Vice Chair Thomas E. Lanctot, Vice Chair Catherine M. Waddell, Vice Chair, Science and Education Susan A.
Willetts, Vice Chair & Immediate Past Chair Nicole S. Williams, Vice Chair, Finance & Investment Jean M. Franczyk, President & CEO DIRECTORS Russell F. Bartmes Martha D. Boudos Jennifer Brown, ex officio Neville F. Bryan John H. Buehler Michael J. Busch Heidi B. Capozzi Robin Colburn James W. DeYoung Jean M. Franczyk, ex officio Dorothy H. Gardner Steven J. Gavin Arthur J. Gibson Nancy Gidwitz Christopher E. Girgenti Ellis M. Goodman John K. Greene Charles V. Greener Joseph P. Gromacki Gillian Growdon William J. Hagenah Jonathan S. Holloway Jane Irwin Gregory K. Jones Peter Keehn Angela Korompilas Nancy Kurz, ex officio M.
James Leider Benjamin F. Lenhardt, Jr. Anne Leventry Diane vS. Levy Laura M. Linger Anne Loucks Michael J. McMurray Christopher Merrill William E. Moeller Gregory Moerschel Lois L. Morrison Jane Park George A. Peinado Toni Preckwinkle, ex officio Bob Probst Arnold Randall, ex officio John C. Robak James Robinson Ryan S. Ruskin Darren Serrao Robert E. Shaw Tom Skilling Maria Smithburg Harrison I. Steans Pam F. Szokol Kim Vender Moffat, ex officio Andrew J. Warzecha Melvin F. Williams Jr. Michael R. Zimmerman LIFE DIRECTORS Marilynn B. Alsdorf J. Melfort Campbell Barbara Whitney Carr Gary P.
Coughlan Peter R. Crane Suzanne S. Dixon Thomas A. Donahoe Peter B. Foreman Ralph F. Fujimoto James J. Glasser Caryn L. Harris Pamela K. Hull Thomas B. Hunter III Posy L. Krehbiel Bill Kurtis Donna La Pietra Daniel I. H. Linzer Josephine P. Louis Mary L. McCormack Jeanine McNally William A. Osborn Homi B. Patel Susan L. Regenstein Anne O. Scott David Byron Smith Susan Stone Richard L. Thomas Howard J. Trienens Ernest P. Waud III Arthur M. Wood, Jr. We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. It is no wonder #plantsmakepeoplehappy is a very popular hashtag. Yes, they do. And, just as important, they also allow us to eat and breathe.
Whether at the main campus in Glencoe or at one of our ur- ban farms or research sites, our gardens resonate with people. We know that people want to spend time in gardens and green spaces, and that gardens are fundamentally important to our mental and physical well-being. In sharing those ideas, and all of our work, we aim to shape how people value, perceive, and care for the environment. This is a big, joyous responsibility, and it is the central idea that drives the Chicago Botanic Garden’s new five-year strategic plan. The plan will serve as our guide to decision-making as we move into the second half of our first century.
The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe is the foundation from which everything builds. The completed plant production facilities, which include the newly named Robert F. Finke Greenhouses, are the heart of the Garden. They allow us to support our living collection, conduct research, preserve rare and endangered species, and maintain the high-quality hor- ticultural displays for which we are famous. This facility gives us the means to grow in stature and experience. In addition, the plan challenges us to change the perception of the Garden from a destina- tion to a generous idea that motivates people to get involved in preserving and protecting our planet.
When we have a model that works, we will invest in that program to magnify its impact. Take, for instance, Windy City Harvest. It began nearly 15 years ago as an idea to grow food locally and help build healthier communities. We now run 13 farms in cooperation with 80 community organizations, and produce more than 130,000 pounds of vegetables and fruits a year. We intend to leverage Windy City Harvest’s well-established partnerships to offer more services such as horticultural therapy to communities. In addition, we are sharing Windy City Harvest’s model and best practices with organizations around the country that see urban agriculture as a way to improve communities, and we are investigating ways to make Windy City Harvest a more integral part of our Glencoe campus.
“I’ve never been more excited about my neighborhood in my life.” That was the reaction from one of our Farm on Ogden neighbors. The Farm, a partnership between the Garden and Lawndale Christian Health Center, is located in North Lawndale, a Chicago commu- nity where 46 percent of residents live below the poverty line. Its farm stand, the commercial kitchen, aquaponics system, and purple-glowing LED lights signal to the community and beyond the power of plants and the ever-growing potential of the Chicago Botanic Garden. You help us do that. Thank you.
Jean M. Franczyk President and CEO Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 4 1/28/19 12:55 PM
3 chicagobotanic.org Spring at the Garden Features 6 Unearth Science festival 8 Spring Calendar 14 20 years of the Model Railroad 16 Investing in the Garden’s Future 18 Honoring Board Chair Bob Finke 20 Safeguarding the Tallgrass Prairie 25 Budburst Helps Students Grow 26 The Garlic Guy 28 The Fleeting Beauty of Spring Ephemerals 30 Finding Your Center Through Tai Chi 32 Across the Forest Preserves 34 Ask the Experts 36 Smart Gardener 38 Joseph Regenstein, Jr.
School of the Chicago Botanic Garden 79 Membership Resources Time for a class? Grow your own bouquet in a new class, Creating a High-Yield Cutting Garden. See page 45.
Do you miss campouts? Now there’s a camping night at the Garden just for adults. See page 63. Did you know? The official flower of Cook County is the coneflower. The Garden’s Jim Ault was an early leader in coneflower (Echinacea) breeding, and Richard Hawke has conducted extensive evaluations over the years on this important pollinator plant. See more about our plant breeding program in This Season in the Garden on page 80. THE ORCHID SHOW The luminous feel of an endless summer, with more than 10,000 orchids in bloom. Wouldnʼt you rather be In the Tropics? Get your tickets now.
Through March 24.
chicagobotanic.org/orchid Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 3 1/28/19 12:55 PM
Spring 2019 The Chicago Botanic Garden is one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Chicago Botanic Garden is smoke-free. Keep Growing is a registered trademark of the Chicago Botanic Garden and is a copyright of the Chicago Botanic Garden. No portion of this magazine can be used without written permission. Keep Growing (USPS 130) is published four times per year by the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022-1168. Volume 10, Issue 1, February 2019. Periodical Postage Paid at Glencoe, IL, and at an additional entry oﬃce in Pontiac, IL. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Keep Growing, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022.
Keep Growing Director, Editorial and Content: Director, Design and Production: Senior Designer & Design Manager: Designers: Editors/Writers: Contributing Writers: Garden Photographer: Contributing Photographers: Linda Bergstrom Carol Abbate Wendy Griﬃths Maria Ciaccio Erica Masini, Fran Sherman, and Renee Tawa Julianne Beck, Judith Hevrdejs-King, Nina Koziol, and Jeﬀ Link Robin Carlson Donna Baiocchi, Ray McCollim, and Maria Rebelo Information Group Tours Lenhardt Library Membership/Donate Plant Information Service Private, Corporate Events Regenstein School Volunteer Services (847) 835-5440 (847) 835-6949 (847) 835-8201 (847) 835-8215 (847) 835-0972 (847) 835-8370 (847) 835-6801 (847) 835-8392 Call us: In Person Garden Website Garden Blog 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL chicagobotanic.org my.chicagobotanic.org Visit us: Join us: Membership Support us: Annual Fund chicagobotanic.org/member chicagobotanic.org/donate Since 1991 Follow us: Gail McGrath - Publisher & President Sheldon Levin - Publisher & Director of Finance A.J.
Levin - Director of Operations Tahira Merchant - Graphic Design Joy Morawez, Josie Negron - Accounting Willie Smith Sprv., Earl Love, Wilfredo Silva - Operations Account Managers Rand Brichta, Arnie Hoffman Southeast, Michael Hedge (847) 770-4643 Southwest, Betsy Gugick & Associates (972) 387-1347 Midwest, David L. Strouse, Ltd. (847) 835-5197 East Coast, Manzo Media Group (610) 527-7047 Steve Dunn - Web & Internet Development 3453 Commercial Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062 | performancemedia.us Performance Media & Gail McGrath & Associates, Inc. is a Woman Owned Business. This magazine is viewable on your mobile device.
For advertising information call (847) 770-4620. To see our Terms and Conditions relating to advertising orders, visit our website at performancemedia.us. All contents copyrighted. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in any manner without written permission. © 2019 O N T H E C O V E R Poppies fill the English Oak Meadow in one of the Garden’s most popular spring displays.
I N S I D E C O V E R S P R E A D Crabapples in bloom signal spring. eNewsletter Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 4 1/28/19 3:18 PM
6 chicagobotanic.org Are you an explorer? The Unearth Science festival lets you experience science in ways you never would have imagined. April 13 & 14 Unearth Science festival Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 6 1/28/19 12:55 PM
chicagobotanic.org 7 When: Saturday & Sunday, April 13 & 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Regenstein Center. Free, regular parking fees apply.
New! Science After Hours: Friday, April 12, 6 to 9 p.m.; Regenstein Center. Member tickets: $8 in advance, nonmem- bers: $11 in advance ($2 more on day-of). Science workshops: Saturday & Sunday, April 13 & 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; in the Plant Science Lab. Member tickets: $8, nonmem- bers: $10; preregistration is required. Tom Skilling: Talk with the WGN-TV meteorologist and Chicago Horticultural Society Board member, Saturday, April 13, 1:30 p.m.; Alsdorf Auditorium. Night Sky Viewing with the Adler Planetarium: Saturday, April 13, 7:30 to 9 p.m.; Esplanade.
Documentary screening: The Guardians, featuring monarch migration, Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m.; Alsdorf Auditorium. chicagobotanic.org/sciencefestival Lounge on larger-than-life pollen grains. Create an artistic native bee- house using twigs and natural materi- als. Dissect flowers to see how they re- ally work. All weekend long, there are free, hands- on activities for young scientists (and scientists of all ages) in Nichols Hall around these four themes: pollinators, flowers, fruits, and seeds. You can also sign up for more in-depth workshops with Garden scientists, horticulturists, and staff (fee required).
New this year, the Unearth Science fes- tival includes two exciting evening events: On Friday, April 12, Science After Hours gives adults their own time to experience all the festival activities, with themed drinks and food available for purchase. On Saturday evening, April 13, all are welcome to see the moon and evening sky at a Night Sky Viewing with the Adler Planetarium (weather permitting). See what happens when a science fair comes to life. Unearth Science festival Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 7 1/28/19 12:56 PM
Interested in finding even more programs and activities at the Chicago Botanic Garden? Go to chicagobotanic.org/calendar for a day-by-day listing.
Please check our website and social media for any updates or changes to events. Hours Open daily, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through June 2. Dining The Garden View Café is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; from April 1 to June 2, open until 5 p.m. Shopping The Garden Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; from April 1 to June 2, open until 5 p.m.; on Thursdays during the Orchid Show, open until 8 p.m.
Reference The Plant Information Service is open from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday (closed holidays). Beginning April 1, it is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Send your plant questions to plantinfo@chicagobotanic. org or call (847) 835-0972. The Lenhardt Library is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (closed holidays). Send your reference questions to email@example.com. Tram Tours Begin Monday, April 22 Learn about the history and science of the Garden on a 2.3-mile Grand Tram Tour, or enjoy an intimate .8-mile Bright Encounters tour, which features the main island’s seasonally chang- ing colors and landscape.
Optional stops allow passengers to explore the 27 distinct gardens and four natural areas on their own. Garden Plus members ride free on Wednesdays. Fees apply. Supported in part by the John J. Louis, Jr. Bright Encounters Fund Calendar chicagobotanic.org/calendar In the Tropics: The Orchid Show 8 chicagobotanic.org The Orchid Show Spring 2019 February 9 through March 24 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(Closes at 3 p.m. on March 20) This year’s Orchid Show brings to mind rejuvenating tropical islands, beaches, and rainforests. Picture more than 10,000 orchids in bloom, paired with sweeps of bromeliads and other tropical plants— lush, vibrant, intoxicating. The tropics are closer than you think. Fee applies. Generously supported by American Airlines Saturdays & Sundays, February 9 – March 24 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Orchids After Hours 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays; tropical bites and tiki drinks for sale.
Special photographers’ hours: 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. Tuesdays; tripods and monopods allowed. Regular ticket fee applies; limited tickets available.
Saturday & Sunday, March 9 & 10 Illinois Orchid Society Show and Sale 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 10 Free Library Talk: “Picturing Tropical Orchids” 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 13 Evening with Orchids: Cocktail Tasting 6 to 8 p.m.; fee applies. Tuesdays & Thursdays, through March 21 Morning Music with Orchids 10 a.m. Through March 24 Rare Book Exhibition: Picturing Tropical Orchids Noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; Lenhardt Library.
Thursday, March 28 Post-Orchid Show Plant Sale 10 a.m. to noon: Garden Plus, Director’s Circle, and President’s Circle members only Noon to 2 p.m.: All Garden members 2 to 4 p.m.: Public welcome While supplies last Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 8 1/28/19 12:56 PM
chicagobotanic.org 9 Get Growing Plant Sale Get Growing Plant Sale Friday, May 17 10 to 11 a.m.: President’s Circle 11 a.m. to noon: Director’s Circle Noon to 4 p.m.: All members Horticulture and Plant Shows Saturday & Sunday, March 23 & 24 Northern Illinois Gesneriad Show & Sale Noon to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Sunday, March 31 Midwest Fruit Explorers Grafting Workshop 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, April 27 & 28 Midwest Daffodil Society Display and Floral Design Show Noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Saturday & Sunday, May 4 & 5 Central States Dahlia Society Sale 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 11 World Bonsai Day 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, May 11 & 12 Midwest Bonsai Society Spring Bonsai Exhibition 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 15 through October 6 Discovery Programs in the Helen and Richard Thomas English Walled Garden, Malott Japanese Garden, and Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Plant Giveaways in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden While supplies last; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Exhibitions Opens March 29 Spice Rack: Flora’s Flavor: Rare Book Exhibition Noon to 4 p.m.
Wednesday through Sunday; Lenhardt Library.
April 6 – April 28 Nature in View: Garden Photographic Society Exhibition 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Greenhouse Galleries, Regenstein Center. Opens May 11 A Pollinator’s Perspective: Bees & Beyond Exhibition 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Joutras Gallery. Saturday, May 18 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Public welcome While supplies last; please check our website for updates. A new splash of color or a bit of texture can help freshen up your garden for spring. Come early to a one-of-a-kind plant sale hosted by the Woman's Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society. Look for unique plants and planters, as well as arrange- ments designed by Garden horticulturists.
Need inspiration or advice? Our staff experts will lead demonstrations to get you started.
Generously supported by JULIE, Inc. Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 9 1/28/19 12:56 PM
Calendar chicagobotanic.org/calendar For Families Mondays through March 25 Story Time in the Lenhardt Library 10 to 11 a.m. Sunday, March 3 & Saturday, March 9 Weekend Family Class: Make Your Own Butter and Pancakes 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m.; preregistration required; fee applies. Saturday, March 16 & Sunday, March 24 Weekend Family Class: Pizza Party 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m.; preregistration required; fee applies. Monday – Friday, March 25 – 29 Spring Break Camp 9:30 a.m.
to 3 p.m.; preregistration required; fee applies.
Saturday, April 6 Weekend Family Class: Homemade Granola 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m.; preregistration required; fee applies. Saturday, April 13 & Sunday, April 14 Unearth Science festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, April 16 & 23 Books and Cooks 10 to 11 a.m.; preregistration required; fee applies. Sunday, April 21 Easter Egg Brunch 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, and 1 p.m.; preregistration required; fee applies. Saturday, April 27 Scout Seasonal Workshop: Earth Day Celebration 12:45 to 3 p.m.; preregistration required; fee applies. Saturday & Sunday, April 27 & 28 Malott Japanese Garden Spring Festival 10 a.m.
to 3 p.m.
Generously supported by the Malott Family Endowment for the Japanese Garden Tuesdays, April 30 & May 7 Books and Cooks 1 to 2 p.m.; preregistration required; fee applies. February highlights Seed Library at Lenhardt Library Through March 31 Noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. March highlights Members-Only Plant Production Behind-the-Scenes Tour Friday & Saturday, March 22 & 23 Garden members are invited to the new Kris Jaran- toski Campus to discover what goes on behind the scenes at our plant production facilities. You’ll tour our new state-of-the-art greenhouses and see spring flowers before they are planted in the Garden.
Tours take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; $10 fee. Partici- pants should be able to walk and stand for about an hour. Register at chicagobotanic.org/membership. Tuesday, March 19 One Book, One Garden: Honeybee Hotel by Leslie Day 6:30 to 8 p.m.; preregistration required. April highlights Unearth Science festival Saturday & Sunday, April 13 & 14 Unearth the world of science like you’ve never seen it before. With a weekend full of activities, the Unearth Science festival celebrates science and nature in ways that will encourage you to see, touch, hear, and explore. New: On Friday, April 12, there is an evening for adults, with drinks and light fare for purchase.
The festival includes free programs and hands-on activities; some special events and work- shops have fees. See page 6 for more information. Generously supported by Baxter, ITW, and NorthShore University HealthSystem May highlights Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America Seasonal opening: May 11 It’s the 20th anniversary for this family favorite. Eighteen model G-scale trains run on 18 tracks, winding over bridges and trestles, and around nearly 50 models of American landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the White House. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (weather permitting); until 8 p.m.
Wednesdays from June 5 to August 28; fee applies. Free to Garden Plus members on Wednesdays.
Generously supported by Bank of America Mother’s Day Brunch Sunday, May 12 Treat mom to spring in the Garden and an elegant brunch buffet that includes a carving station and made-to-order omelets. Reservations are required; fees include parking. Seatings are at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. Parties of eight or fewer may share a table with other guests. Wednesday, May 1 Inspiring Nature Play: Innovations Conference 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; preregistration required; fee applies. Saturday, May 4 Garden Shop Double Discount Day for Members 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Saturday, May 11 Meet the Rare Books 1 to 2 p.m.
10 chicagobotanic.org Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 10 1/28/19 12:56 PM
LAKE BLUFF 975 North Shore Dr. 847.615.2700 LAKE FOREST 695 N. Western Ave. www.pasquesi.com Watch for our Pansy Sale in April. PLANTS and GARDEN SUPPLIES CONTAINERS and STATUARY GARDEN FURNITURE HOME and GARDEN ACCENTS PET and BIRD SUPPLIES
12 chicagobotanic.org Butterflies & Blooms Seasonal opening: May 25 Immerse yourself in a garden habitat filled with hundreds of live butterflies from around the world, as well as some native to North America. This popular, family-friendly destination returns to the Regenstein Learning Campus. It’s free to Garden Plus members on Wednesdays and free to President’s Circle mem- bers every day.
Garden Chef Series Seasonal opening: May 25 Watch noted chefs prepare recipes in the Garden’s open-air amphitheater, using seasonal, garden-fresh produce. Seating is first come, first served for the demonstrations on Saturdays and Sundays, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden’s open-air amphitheater.
Generously supported by Food Network Magazine Nature Play Garden Family Drop-in Activities June 1 – September 2 Activities provide hands-on, fun activities for fami- lies and children daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Regenstein Learning Campus. Evenings June 4 – September 2 Long summer nights are the perfect time to unwind with friends and family during the Garden’s extended summer hours (until 9 p.m.). Pack a picnic and enjoy special live music performances for all ages, four nights a week.
Generously supported by BMO Harris Bank and NorthShore University HealthSystem bees beyond coming in spring Pollinators sustain life Nature Play Garden Coming in summer Throughout the year, the Garden is focusing on Bees & Beyond, a program that inspires a genuine appreciation for the vital role pollinators play in our everyday lives and in maintaining a healthy, diverse planet.
Beginning in spring, look for pollinator-themed display gardens; topiaries; a months-long interactive exhibition, Pollinator’s Perspective; and more, including After Hours Buzz, a series of cocktail events with scientists. Explore the stunning diversity of pollinators and the ways you can help protect these important creatures. chicagobotanic.org/beesandbeyond Generously sponsored by Boeing Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 12 1/28/19 3:19 PM
368 PARK AVENUE • GLENCOE • 847.501.3100 BOOK ONLINE • WWW.PASCALPOURELLE.COM your hair is90% ofyour selfie 2015 •2016 2018
14 chicagobotanic.org Engineers celebrate 20 years of keeping the trains running The Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America is one of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s most popular exhibitions. But it had a very modest start as a Ju- nior Railroad Exhibit, with seven trains traveling a temporary lay- out around a profusion of plants. Now celebrating its 20th anniver- sary, the Model Railroad has more than 1,600 feet of track with 18 trains navigating past almost 50 miniature American landmarks in miniature.
Making it all work are the train exhibi- tion engineers. You should be able to spot them easily enough—they usually wear a blue denim shirt, dark pants, and an engineer’s hat with its classic pleated crown. And they possess a life- long love of model railroads that they share with the youngest visitors. Perhaps Dick Jacobs, Lynn Sirovatka, or Dave Perez will be there, keeping tabs on the G-scale trains that navigate the 18 tracks through 7,500 square feet of plants and across 26 bridges. They and chief train exhibition engineer Steve Kocian are among the 15 or so engineers who care for the railroad.
Or you may see Dave Rodelius. He was the Model Railroad Garden’s first chief engineer until he retired last year. Hired to drive a Garden tram, he soon spot- ted garden specialists from Applied Imagination in Alexandria, Kentucky, installing the railroad and chatted with its founder Paul Busse. Not long after that, Rodelius was offered a chance to manage the railroad. He then tapped seven hobbyists from the model rail- road industry to work that first year. Dave Rodelius was the Model Railroad Garden’s first engineer. Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 14 1/28/19 12:56 PM
The first year’s success prompted the Garden to continue the outdoor rail- road. Each year, the exhibition’s team discusses what equipment might be needed—the outdoor railroad trains travel more than 22,000 miles each sea- son—and what new elements might be added. “The first year we had Wrigley Field and some people complained, so White Sox park was built,” Rodelius said, laugh- ing. Now there’s a Golden Gate Bridge, Old Faithful, Mount St. Helens, and dozens of natural wood buildings depicting iconic American structures. “The Model Railroad Garden has been a passion of mine for 19½ years, and it still is a passion for me,” he said.
“I absolutely love that place. The people who work there are just spectacular.” Although some engines make sounds, said Sirovatka, engineers decided to add more sound. “We have a circus area, and the children push a button and dance around to the calliope mu- sic,” added Sirovatka, who’s been with the team for five years.
All that action on the railroad layout can be demanding. “The biggest chal- lenge is in the springtime and the level- ing of uneven tracks brought on by the winter frost. That may require the re- pair or replacing with new track,” said Perez, the maintenance technical engi- neer for 15 years. The engineers need to make sure the trains run smoothly throughout the season, which this year runs from May 11 through October 13. That can be daunting. There are weather challenges and necessary maintenance. “We’re crawling in the dirt, we’re digging holes, we’re putting pipes in, we’re put- ting track in,” said Jacobs, who has more than 17 years with the railroad.
“Unless (visitors) just stumble upon us…you see the finished product and don’t realize how much it took to do this.” Every morning, the tracks are cleared of leaves and twigs, trains are set on the tracks, and buildings checked. And with Old Faithful regularly shooting a spray of water into the air, the engi- neers must faithfully refill the attrac- tion’s 5-gallon bucket with water, Ro- delius said.
Even in the off season, there is work to do: Trains and tracks need care and Ap- plied Imagination rebuilds bridges and rejuvenates any sun- or rain-damaged buildings. The bonus for these engineers? They enjoy working on this railroad, but they treasure seeing the smiles on kids’ faces and the giggles they hear when the Old Faithful spurts water or Mount St. Helens belches a steamy smoke. “The biggest thing that keeps me going is the kids who just marvel at the trains and their reaction seeing so many,” Sirovatka said. “They just don’t know where to look and where to run first.” Learn more chicagobotanic.org/gardens/railroad Fun fact: The outdoor railroad trains travel more than 22,000 miles each season.
Each year, the tracks and trains are inspected and repaired. Generously sponsored by chicagobotanic.org 15 Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 15 1/28/19 12:56 PM
16 chicagobotanic.org Give back to your Garden It starts with an idea—to honor a loved one or share the Chicago Botanic Garden’s beauty with generations to come. With a gift to the Garden’s endowment, you help us shape the future. Meet these generous donors: King and Hope Poor Beginning in the 1970s, King Poor and his family would often visit the fledg- ling Chicago Botanic Garden. His mother, Janet Meakin Poor, was an early supporter of the Garden and in 1987, became the first woman to chair the Garden’s Board of Directors.
As chair, she fostered a commitment to plant science and helped establish the Garden’s Plant Science and Conserva- tion Department.
King’s mother never lost her fascina- tion with plants, her delight in learning about them, and her dedication to pro- tecting them. A week before she died in June 2017, Janet Meakin Poor attend- ed a research symposium named for her at the Garden. King and his wife, Hope, have created an endowment in her honor for the graduate program in plant biology and conservation through the Garden and Northwestern University. Their gift helps the next generation of plant sci- entists continue the plant stewardship and environmental advocacy so impor- tant to Janet Meakin Poor—and to us. “Her generation had the vision to create the Garden, and we’re called to be good stewards of that legacy.” — King Poor, referring to his mother, Janet Meakin Poor, Chicago Botanic Garden board chair, 1987 – 1993 Glenn Kohlmeyer Penny and Glenn Kohlmeyer, married 45 years, were a team.
Together they grew their marriage and their home garden, and together they volunteered at the Garden. Penny focused on the What’s in Bloom plant display outside the Visitor Center, assisting Boyce Tankersley, director of living plant doc- umentation. Glenn also joined Boyce’s team, digitizing plant photos from slides.
Glenn lights up when he describes Pen- ny, who died in 2017. To honor his be- loved wife and the volunteer work she adored, he created the Penny Kohlmey- er Endowment Fund for Living Plant Documentation. Penny was always up for a new task, like helping to form a team leader program for volunteers. “Thanks to Penny’s guidance, we’ve been able to establish a successful pro- gram,” said Boyce. “Both she and Glenn have been exceptionally sup- portive of the Garden over the years.” “Penny was such a big part of the living plant col- lections group. Contribut- ing to her area is a way to carry her volunteer work into the future.” — Glenn Kohlmeyer Hope and King Poor Penny Kohlmeyer Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 16 1/28/19 12:56 PM
A.C. Buehler III A.C. Buehler III is at home in the gar- den his parents established at the Garden to address the needs of the dis- abled. He moves among raised beds bursting with flowers and dips a finger into a horizontal fountain, the inter- rupted flow making watery patterns. “My father loved this fountain. See how it’s situated for people in wheel- chairs to access?” he asked. A.C. continues the legacy of his par- ents, A.C. Buehler, Jr. (Bert) and Patri- cia (Pat), along with his brother John, a Garden board member. Bert and Pat were convinced that gardening should be accessible to all, and they helped the Garden create an award-winning, enduring place of refuge and empower- ment.
“Everyone should be able to experience horticulture. We’re proud to have been a part of the Garden’s vision for excellence.” — A.C. Buehler III Invest in the Future With your help, we can continue to in- spire and touch lives through the natural world, and work to protect and sustain our planet’s fragile ecosystem. Please consider a gift to ensure that the Garden you value has permanent support. How you can make a difference Your gift of $50,000 or more establishes a named endowed fund at the Garden. Your gift of any amount supports general endowment or a field of interest fund (such as science or the beauty of the Garden).
For more information on giving options, please contact: Patty Shanahan Associate vice president of development (847) 835-6838 firstname.lastname@example.org 17 Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 17 1/28/19 12:56 PM
18 chicagobotanic.org Garden briefs Honoring a champion of the Garden The ribbon-cutting of the greenhouses at the Kris Jarantoski Campus included a special honor for Bob Finke, chairman of the Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society. Thanks to an anonymous donor, the greenhouses were named the Robert F. Finke Green- houses in recognition of his hard work and achievement on the Jarantoski Campus project.
Veggie Rx expands A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will expand Windy City Harvest’s Veggie Rx program to Loyola Univer- sity Health System clinics in Chicago’s western suburbs. Veggie Rx provides boxes of produce, grown and packed by Windy City Harvest trainees, to patients with diet-related diseases who are also food insecure.
HEALTH for Little Village The Garden and its partner Instituto del Progreso Latino received an award from the Institute of Museum and Li- brary Services to support HEALTH, a new horticultural therapy program. The program will help high school stu- dents get the message to their Little Village communities about the impor- tance of being in nature for mental and physical health. Other collaborators include the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention at the Uni- versity of Chicago.
Jim Boudreau, Jean M. Franczyk, Fred Spicer, Bob Finke, and Kris Jarantoski cut the ribbon for the Jarantoski Campus greenhouses.
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Conserving our prairie, one seed at a time Medard and Elizabeth Welch Senior Director, Ecology and Conservation. It aims to preserve at least one representa- tive sample of each of the roughly 3,000 species found in the tallgrass prairie ecosystem that produce seeds capable of surviving cold storage and multiple samples of more than 500 species important for restoration.
This is important work. Throughout North America, the tallgrass prairie has lost nearly all its former distribution to agricultural and other human activi- ties. Seeds in the bank are being used for research and plant conservation ef- forts that are protecting rare plants from extinction and restoring habitats, including degraded Forest Preserves of Cook County sites, with resilient prai- rie species.
Here is a closer look at this valuable resource. Why does the Garden have a seed bank? First, many of the represented plants are rare, and it’s important to store seeds to prevent their extinction. For example, many of our native ashes were hit hard by the emerald ash borer. We’ve been collecting genetically di- verse samples of ash species in the hope we can preserve them before they die. If scientists and land managers find a way to get emerald ash borer under control, we may be able to restore them or man- age afflicted areas by propagating bor- er-resistant cultivars and providing seed stock for large-scale restorations.
Ash is only one example. With wave after wave of new diseases and insect threats, many species are not currently rare but may be in the future. We need to have genetic material in the bank to restore plant communities after a blight or infestation.
The Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank safeguards an endangered habitat From the outside, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank resembles the freezer of a commercial kitchen, the sort of large, double-doored, stainless steel chamber you’d find contestants racing toward on a Food Network competi- tion. But inside lies something far more consequential. On shelves lined with vacuum-sealed foil bags is a collection of physical seed specimens, stored at minus 18 degrees Celsius, that repre- sent species integral to the tallgrass prairie biome of the midwestern Unit- ed States, one of earth’s most endan- gered habitats.
Most seed banks in the United States focus on preserving the seeds of crops and crop relatives, but the seed bank in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center has a dif- ferent goal, says Kayri Havens, Ph.D., By the numbers 200 years: The potential storage time for each collection | 3,000 species: In the tallgrass prairie ecosystem that are suitable to be preserved | 15 percent: The level of humidity of the dried seeds Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 20 1/28/19 12:56 PM
What is in the Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank? The Seed Bank contains 10,238 seed accessions, representing 1,713 species, collected from 15 states in the Upper Midwest.
In partnership with the Cen- ter for Plant Conservation, a national consortium of 48 botanic gardens that collect seeds and do research on rare species, we are banking 11 of the rarest species in the Upper Midwest region. This includes plants such Pitcher’s this- tle, eastern prairie white fringed orchid, and Mead’s milkweed.
What other ways are the seeds being used? Right now, we have a project focused on collecting tough native species that provide nectar for monarchs and native bees. Milkweed and other nectar-pro- ducing plants are collected from road- sides and other parcels with adverse growing conditions. We are restoring test plots in the Forest Preserves of Cook County, including the Bartel Grassland in Matteson, Illinois. We’re hoping these genetically resilient “na- tive winners” will perform important ecosystem services in marginal areas awaiting full-scale restoration. How do we get the seeds? Staff and graduate students in the joint graduate program in plant biology and conservation through Northwestern University and the Garden go on col- lection trips throughout the Upper Midwest.
We also acquire seeds, for a fee, from knowledgeable contract col- lectors in the region.
To capture genetic diversity, collectors look for large, healthy populations. They obtain appropriate permits from landowners, document where popula- tions occur using GPS devices, and ac- quire information about soil and cli- mate conditions and nearby plants. Seed samples representing at least 50 maternal plants are put in paper bags and sent with a data sheet to the Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank and National Tallgrass Prairie Prepara- tion Laboratory. How are they preserved? A team of Garden staff and volunteers led by Seed Bank Manager David Sol- lenberger prepare seeds for storage.
In the Seed Quarantine Room, seeds are separated from other plant material by hand or with small tools such as sieves, rubbing boards, and blowers. After be- ing counted, weighed, and cleaned, they are X-rayed to determine whether there is embryo viability. All but about 25 seeds (which are sent to the Repro- ductive Biology Laboratory) are slowly dried to 15 percent humidity, carefully labeled and packaged in heat-sealed foil containers, and—finally—stored in the Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank.
How do we share the seeds and seed data? Each seed collection is divided and we send half to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Center for Ge- netic Resource Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado. In the event of a natural disaster, we don’t want all of our seeds in one place. Records for these collections are available through the Germplasm Resources Information Network database. Our data also is shared with the national Seeds of Suc- cess program, a program led by the Bu- reau of Land Management that serves to record, preserve, and safeguard im- portant flora for restoration and con- servation science activities within the United States.
Any researcher who wishes to use seed for a project can send us a proposal to obtain seed. For in- stance, we currently send plant materi- al resulting from seed cleaning to re- searchers at the University of Chicago’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy to test for possible medicinal uses.
Learn more chicagobotanic.org/research Seeds are stored at minus 18 degrees Celsius. chicagobotanic.org 21 Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 21 1/28/19 12:56 PM
22 chicagobotanic.org The collection: Magnolias Magnolia trees are the prom dresses of the garden. Their magnificent, showy flowers blanket the branches long be- fore the leaves unfurl. The size and abundance of the blossoms make mag- nolias one of the most stunning trees come spring. The white-flowered star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) and the pale pink saucer magnolia (Magnolia xsoulange- ana) are popular trees, especially for home landscapes.
But there are many others from which to choose, includ- ing those with yellow, purple, red, and bicolored flowers, and many that are fragrant.
There are 153 taxa of Magnolia at the Garden, and the best time to see them is from April to early May. You’ll find ‘Alexandrina’, a saucer magnolia, in the Helen and Richard Thomas Eng- lish Walled Garden, where its large fragrant flowers are a light reddish- purple on the outside and white on the inside. In the Farwell Landscape Garden, there are ‘Jane’, ‘Randy’, and star magnolias. Many others can be found in the Graham Bulb Garden, the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden, the Sensory Garden, and Lakeside East.
Although it’s hard to narrow down fa- vorites, Phil Douglas, director of plant collections, likes ‘Henry Hicks’ mag- nolia.
“It’s our best performing sweet- bay magnolia (M. virginiana),” he says. Magnolias are native to eastern and southeastern Asia and eastern North America, Central America, and South America. Fossils of magnolias date back more than 90 million years—sci- entists think they were pollinated by beetles because bees were not present at that time. While many magnolias can reach 35 to 40 feet in height, there are smaller ones like ‘Genie’, ‘Jane’, and ‘Betty’ that are 10 to 15 feet tall.
Then there’s the yellow-flowered mag- nolia ‘Judy Zuk’. The tree and flowers are upright, and the flowers smell like Froot Loops cereal—tropical and fruity. Inspired? Come see the Magnolia collection this spring. Learn more chicagobotanic.org/collections Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 22 1/28/19 12:56 PM
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chicagobotanic.org 25 Budburst is popping up in local schools this spring, as a part of a recent expansion of the Chicago Botanic Gar- den’s citizen scientist pro- gram. Students in select public schools in Waukegan and Chicago work on-site or in nearby gardens, where they are learning to collaborate, manage a living laboratory, follow the scientific process, and collect data on the life cycle of plants. “It’s really exciting to see youth so ex- cited about nature,” remarked Jennifer Schwarz Ballard, Ph.D., vice president of Learning and Engagement at the Chicago Botanic Garden. She has been involved with Budburst since it began in 2007.
“The schools that we are working with are all really enthusiastic, and we are looking forward to begin- ning data collection this spring.” The first school gardens were planted last fall by students in Waukegan Dis- trict 60. Black-eyed Susan, eastern red columbine, foxglove beardtongue, and New England aster are among the flow- ers now beginning to leaf out during their first growing season. The students will be collecting that phenology and pollinator visitation information and sharing it via Budburst.
All participants will gather data for a Budburst research initiative that began in 2017 to measure the unique rela- tionships between native plants and their cultivars, aptly called nativars, with pollinators. Each school will re- ceive a research garden that includes three replicates each of the selected na- tives species and its associated cultivars. Budburst was designed to encourage citizen scientists to participate in long- term data collection for use by scientists in research and publications. Since Gar- den leaders reimagined Budburst in 2017, this work continues with the ad- dition of programs that appeal to a larger number of people at different ages.
The program’s new elements “pro- vide opportunities to involve people in the entire scientific process, from hy- pothesis to conclusion, in a manageable time frame,” said Dr. Schwarz Ballard. The public is also welcome to gather and contribute data to the nativars project either by growing their plants at home or by monitoring the research site at the Garden.
Learn more budburst.org Students become citizen scientists through Budburst gardens Anne Zahn, administrator for science STEM and accelerated programs in District 60, is eager for the students from grades 3 through middle school to expand their classroom studies into the gardens. “We look at ecosystems, we look at life cycles of plants and pollinators, so all of the pieces of Budburst fit very well into the Next Generation Science Stan- dards,” she said. The program reaches 450 students at three elementary schools with on-site gardens, plus 100 students at a middle school with a garden. Nearly 3,000 ad- ditional students in nearby district schools will also collect data at these gardens.
“Students love to see something they did, and create a change, so just the growth of the plants will be a big deal to them,” Zahn said. Plus, “there’s a whole list of social emotional things that this will address beside the aca- demic curriculum,” she added, noting that some students may even be in- spired to grow a garden at home. Students at five Chicago schools are planting their study gardens this spring with help from Openlands’ Space to Grow program. Data collection begins this fall.
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26 chicagobotanic.org Volunteer John Swenson knows his garlic John Swenson has driven from Illinois to a certain Italian grocery and liquor store in Wisconsin many times.
It’s where he buys all of his garlic sauces, and it’s where he promises a delicious reward: the best garlic this side of Italy. You’d better believe him. Swenson, a longtime volunteer at the Garden, happens to be an expert on all things Allium, the genus that includes garlic, onions, and leeks. When he’s not tending to his home garlic garden, he’s sharing his passion with visitors at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, where he has served as a volunteer since 2002. Prior to that, he reviewed countless library books as a volunteer in Plant Information and completed the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program at the Garden in 1996.
“My attitude is: What good is knowl- edge if you can’t share it? And the same is true of garlic,” Swenson said. Call it smelly all you want. Swenson loves to talk garlic with Garden visitors. “People want to know about garlic. On a busy day, I might talk with 30 peo- ple,” he said. “We talk about how to grow it, where to buy it. Most people think garlic originated in Italy but it didn’t—it came from Central Asia. It took thousands of years for it to get to Italy.” Swenson’s interest in alliums has taken him all across the globe. In 1989, Swen- son was one of three American members of an expedition to Central Asia and Russia to collect onions, garlic, and car- rots.
The team came back with more than 180 plant materials and seeds, in- cluding new varieties of garlic and many wild Alliums, and all were added to U.S. Department of Agriculture collections. His passion has also taken him deep into the regional history of his hometown, Chicago. For nearly a decade, Swenson conducted research to better understand the origin of the name Chicago. In his essay, “Chicagoua/Chicago: The Origin, Meaning, and Etymology of a Place Name,” published in 1991 in the Illinois Historic Journal, he debunked the com- mon myth that Chicago is named after a wild onion. It is named after Allium tri- coccum, a wild garlic, he said.
“I can prove it in court,” said Swenson, a for- mer lawyer.
Swenson traces his love for alliums back to 1975, when he was flipping through the pages of a seed catalog. At the time, he was living in his Glencoe home with his late wife, Helen, and paying regular visits to the Garden (Helen was a volunteer at the Garden, which inspired him to volun- teer, too). He remembers seeing an ad for rocambole garlic bulbs, and he or- dered several. Later that year, he learned about the Seed Savers Exchange. Over 33 years, he has donated 150 varieties to the Seed Savers Exchange’s seed bank collection.
The rest, as they say, is history. Now, he grows almost 30 different gar- lic varieties in his garden.
And, come summertime, Swenson, who will turn 90 in May, expects to harvest, “Oh, lordy, probably 2,000 garlic plants.” What will he use them for? “I like to give it away to people who are growing garlic,” he said. “But the other day I did use some garlic with hot peppers, on- ions, and bratwurst.” After all, as the tile above Swenson’s cooktop says, “Cooking without garlic is like painting without color.” Learn more chicagobotanic.org/volunteer 26 chicagobotanic.org Historic Journal, mon myth that Chicago is named after a wild onion. It is named after coccum prove it in court,” said Swenson, a for- mer lawyer.
Swenson traces his love for alliums back to 1975, when he was flipping through the pages of a seed catalog. At the time, he was living in his Glencoe home with his late wife, Spring Keep Growing v.8 -single pages.indd 26 1/28/19 12:56 PM