May Flowers: To and From and Inside The Chicago Botanic Garden: 6+ Miles
Saturday, May 4th. This will not be our typical hike. We will hike as a group 3 miles of the North Branch Trail System from the Skokie Lagoons into the Botanic Gardens, walk the gardens for an hour or so and then meetup again and hike the 3 miles back to the lagoons. This will not be a difficult hike though it will be a great opportunity to see a unique part of the Chicago area conservation effort. The trail will be a combination of pavement and crushed limestone.
There is no cost for this meetup. Admission to the Botanic Garden is free. The garden does charge for parking but since we will be walking in, there will be no cost to us. While it is completely optional, you might consider bringing a small donation to drop in their box. Completely, completely optional.
About the Chicago Botanic Garden:
The mission of the Chicago Botanic Garden is to promote the enjoyment, understanding, and conservation of plants and the natural world.
The Garden continues to strive to meet the lofty goals set more than a century ago. The Chicago Botanic Garden, with its world-renowned plant collections and displays, is one of the country's most visited public gardens and a preeminent center for learning and scientific research.
The 385-acre Garden features 26 display gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on nine islands surrounded by lakes.
The Chicago Horticultural Society was founded in 1890. At its heart was the understanding that the city of Chicago was incorporated with the Latin words Urbs in Horto, meaning "city in a garden." The Society hosted nationally recognized flower and horticultural shows from its beginning. Information on the first show the new Society hosted is lost to history, but records archived at the Chicago Botanic Garden confirm the second show was held in the autumn of 1892 at the Regiment Armory, possibly at 1542 South Michigan Avenue, where a new armory opened in 1890.
With two successful annual shows behind them, the Society next hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition Chrysanthemum Show, held in conjunction with the world’s fair in the autumn of 1893, at the newly built and just-opened Art Institute of Chicago.
After a period of inactivity, the Chicago Horticultural Society was restarted in 1943. In 1962, modern history begins when the Society agreed to help create and manage a new public garden. With the groundbreaking for the Garden in 1965 and its opening in 1972, the Society created a permanent site on which to carry out its mission. The mission encompasses three important components: collections,education, and research.
In 2012, the Chicago Botanic Garden celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Sorry, no dogs allowed on this hike (other than service dogs).
We will meet in the Skokie Lagoons Tower Road Boat Launch parking lot at 9:45 and leave out on the hike right at 10:00. We will cross Tower Road and take the west section of the Black trail to Dundee road where we will enter the Botanic Garden.
Inside the garden we may need to split into smaller groups of 20 or so.
We will meetup back in front of the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center at 12:45 and at 1:00 make the hike back to Skokie Lagoons Tower Road Boat Launch. On the trail back we will take the east side of the Black trail and cross Tower Road to the lot.
Skokie Lagoons Tower Road Boat Launch Parking Lot
Tower Road and I-94
Either the Tower Road or Tower Road Boat Launch Parking Lot
Directions: From Chicago, take the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) until I-94 splits off to form the Edens Expressway. Exit at Willow and head east. Take a left (North) on Forest Way to Tower Road. Take a left on Tower Road and look for the boat launch parking lot on the left.
More information on the North Branch Trail System:
Chicago Botanic Garden Web Page click here.
Cook County North Branch Trail System Map click here.
Chicago Botanic Garden Map click here.
I hope you can make the hike; for those who have never been to the the garden, or those who have not been in a while, this will be a treat,