Spring into The Morton Arboretum with a host of events and programs for all ages that celebrate a season of blooming as well as the Arboretum’s signature holiday, Arbor Day.
Grab a leash for a woodland walk with your pup during Dog Admission Day in March. Dance the night away to rollicking live music during Howl at the Moon at The Morton Arboretum, March 10. This April, celebrate Easter with our kid-friendly Breakfast with the Bunny and a delectable Easter Brunch. Our annual Arbor Day festivities begin with The Champion of Trees 10K on April 23 and a visit from everyone’s favorite monkey, as Curious George joins us for a special story time and tree planting on Arbor Day, April 28. Arbor Day also marks the time for our annual Arbor Day Plant Sale, one of the largest plant sales in the Chicago area with more than 100,000 expertly-chosen plants and trees, April 29-30.
In May, The Morton Arboretum presents Origami in the Garden. Taking place May 19 through October 22, this inventive exhibit features dozens of intricate large-scale metal sculptures based on the ancient Japanese art of paper folding placed throughout the Arboretum’s spectacular landscape. Visitors can marvel at these elegant and larger-than life creations, which include one piece that soars 24 feet in the air and evokes the Japanese tradition of folding a thousand paper cranes.
Listed ticket prices are for nonmembers. A complete list of March and April Arboretum events and details is below. All information listed is subject to change.
Dog Admission Day
Saturday, March 4, 7 a.m.-sunset
$5 per dog and Arboretum admission
Visitors can bring their dog with them to hike the Arboretum’s 16 miles of trails. Dogs are not allowed in any of the Arboretum’s buildings, the Children’s Garden or Maze Garden.
Howl at the Moon at The Morton Arboretum
Friday, March 10, 5:30-9 p.m.
$25, $40 for for VIP admission at reserved shared tables in prime location
Howl at the Moon at The Morton Arboretum is a high-energy live music show centered around dance hits and party anthems. Tickets include seating at shared tables and one complimentary beverage. Additional food and beverage will be available for purchase.
Breakfast with the Bunny
Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15, 9-11 a.m.
Visitors are encouraged to hop on over for a tasty springtime buffet featuring a visit from the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny will roam throughout the Ginkgo Restaurant visiting with families and delivering an Easter treat for the kids. Visit us online for further details, including price.
Sunday, April 16, Seatings at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m.
Celebrate Easter while savoring a delicious meal and the breathtaking view of Meadow Lake. The Easter Bunny will visit your table during brunch. Plus delight in the early spring blooms that are popping up all around the Arboretum.
The Champion of Trees 10K
Sunday, April 23, 8 a.m. start time
Visit mortonarb.org for registration information
Unleash your inner champion as you run on a springtime morning surrounded by trees from around the world. The challenging USATF-certified course follows the Arboretum's east side main route through rolling terrain. Runners can enjoy a post-race party with other Tree Champions, including live music, recovery food and a complimentary beer for those 21 and older.
Dress Like a Tree, Get In Free
Friday, April 28, 7 a.m.-sunset
Visit The Morton Arboretum on Arbor Day dressed like your favorite tree and gain free admission all day long! Outfits can range from a green or brown T-shirt and hat or participants can “branch” out and come dressed in a costume masterpiece.
Arbor Day Tree Planting
Friday, April 28, 11 a.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Celebrate Arbor Day with a visit from Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat at the Arboretum. Enjoy a group reading of Curious George Plants a Tree, and join in a tree planting in the Children’s Garden.
Friday, April 28-Sunday, April 30, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Celebrate Arbor Day in the Children's Garden all weekend long. We will plant tree seeds, investigate tree cookies and go on a hunt for five unique trees throughout the garden. These are self-guided hands-on discovery activities.
Be a Tree
Weekends in April, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Show your support and be a tree for the day. Visitors will make terrific tree masks to take home in this is a self-guided, hands-on discovery activity.
Arbor Day Plant Sale
Saturday, April 29, noon-5 p.m.
Sunday, April 30, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Shop an exciting variety of plants chosen by our experts for success in your Chicago-area garden. The Arbor Day Plant Sale is one of the largest seasonal plant sales in the Chicago region. It offers more than 100,000 plants, including hundreds of species and varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, ferns, vegetables and herbs. The plants are specially chosen by the Arboretum’s expert staff and many are grown at the Arboretum. Our Plant Geniuses, a team of Arboretum tree and plant experts, are available throughout the sale to answer questions, suggest plants and help shoppers narrow their choices. Arboretum members will be admitted into the sale beginning Friday, April 28.
Artist's Trunk Show: Art by Rozanne
Saturday, April 8, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Shop for greeting cards, canvases, matted prints, pillows and more with designs by Rozanne Priebe of Elmhurst.
Children’s Garden Programs
Weekends in March, Families can make homes from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
$10 and Arboretum admission
Take a hike through the Children’s Garden to hunt for all of the hiding gnomes, then create a keepsake, light-up gnome home of your own.
Music Rocks! (18-35 months)
Tuesday, March 7 or Wednesday, March 15, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Tweet, drum, shake and explore all of the sounds of nature in this sensory-based program. We’ll take a hike, listen for animals and collect some natural materials to make our own natural musical instruments.
Music Rocks! (3-5 years)
Wednesday, March 8, or Tuesday, March 14, 9:30-11 a.m.
Tweet, drum and shake and explore all of the sounds of nature in this sensory-based program. We’ll take a hike, listen for animals and collect some natural materials to make our own natural musical instruments.
Family Explorers Backpack
Daily in April, Backpacks are available from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
$5 and Arboretum admission
Looking for a unique experience in the Children’s Garden? Rent a self-guided family backpack and enhance your visit. Backpack rental includes science tools, guides and fun props to explore nature as a family.
Little Sprouts (3–5 years)
Tuesday, April 4 or Wednesday, April 12, 9:30-11 a.m.
Join us as we dig in the soil, explore how plants grow and plant a seed of your own to take home in this hands-on, sensory based gardening program for little sprouts.
Little Sprouts (18–35 months)
Wednesday, April 5 or Tuesday, April 11, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Join us as we dig in the soil, explore how plants grow, and plant a seed of your own to take home in this hands-on, sensory based gardening program for little sprouts.
Youth and Family Programs
Syrup Tree and Silver Dollar Brunch
Saturday, March 18 or Sunday, March 19, Programs are an hour and a half and take place from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Take a guided hike to learn the history of maple tapping and see how it’s done. Complete your experience with maple syrup sampling and family style brunch.
Earth Day Tea Party
Saturday, April 22, 10-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-2 p.m.
$30 (registration opens February 21)
Celebrate Earth Day with tea and sweet treats, then plant and decorate your own tea cup planter to take home.
Arbor Reading Adventures
Wednesdays and Fridays in March, 11-11:45 a.m.
$5 and Arboretum admission
Join us in the Sterling Morton Library for this popular and interactive story time! We’ll read stories, make a craft and then head out on the grounds for an adventure walk. Themes change weekly
Acorn Express Adventures
Wednesdays and Fridays in April, 11-11:45 a.m. (except April 28)
$5 and Arboretum admission
Join us on the Acorn Express for a family friendly tram-ride adventure through the Arboretum. We’ll seek out fun destinations to hike, make a craft and explore new topics each week. Acorn Express Adventures will not take place April 28.
Acorn Express Adventures-- Homeschool Journey
Wednesday, April 5, 9:30-10:15 a.m.
$5 and Arboretum admission
Join us on the Acorn Express for a family-friendly tram ride adventure through the Arboretum. We’ll seek out fun destinations to hike, make a craft and explore nature topics. Gather with homeschool families from the Chicago area and bring snacks to enjoy in the Children’s Garden picnic area after the program.
Adult Classes and Programs
Saturday, April 1, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
In this single morning workshop for beginners, learn how to find birds, discuss equipment, what to wear, keeping track of your observations and more. We’ll stroll around the Arboretum to observe birds that inhabit Illinois all year and learn key bird features for identification and how to match birds to their preferred food or habitat.
Field Study: Birds of Spring
Sundays, April 9-May 21, 8 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
Learn how to identify Illinois' spring resident and migratory birds by sight and call and meet other birders. We will meet primarily outdoors and visit different habitats around the area to learn calls and identification of field marks. Indoors, we will discuss behavioral clues that help in identification, feather arrangement and physical topography and review daily checklists from the prior field days. This program will not meet April 16 or May 7.
Spring Bird Walk
Saturdays, April 15 or May 20, 8-10:30 a.m.
$10 and Arboretum admission
Celebrate spring by searching the Arboretum grounds for nature’s brightly colored pageant of spring birds. Eastern bluebirds and eastern meadowlarks are among the many birds that return to or pass through Illinois on their way north. Join us to follow the spring migration through the season with an expert guide.
Spring Warbler Workshop
Wednesday, May 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 7, 8 a.m.-noon
In this intensive workshop, enjoy the spring warbler migration while learning about identification, arrival dates, migration patterns, habitat preferences and daily feeding techniques. Brightly colored warblers are one of the highlights of spring.
Edible Gardening Workshop Series
Prepping for a Successful Gardening Season
Saturday, March 11, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Looking to grow your best garden yet? Join an exciting and informative workshop covering various techniques for successful Chicagoland vegetable gardening. Topics will cover tasks, techniques and tips from winter to autumn as well as basic botany, soil prep, crop selection, rotation and planning, pest solutions, harvesting and more. Demonstrations and activities include sowing seeds, sketching and planning your garden calendar. The fee includes Arboretum admission.
Top Ten Edibles for Chicagoland and How to Grow Them Organically
Saturday, March 18, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Join a local organic gardener as she shares vegetables proven to thrive in Chicagoland and how to best plant, manage and harvest them throughout the season utilizing organic practices. Learn about the supplies, tools and knowledge you need to get your own organic garden started this season. The fee includes Arboretum admission.
Grow a Food Forest in Your Yard
March 25, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Turn your front and backyard into an edible landscape that is beautiful and productive using the design principles of permaculture. Following these principles will ultimately allow you more time to enjoy and relax in your space and reap the perennial fruits of your labor. Permaculture means “permanent agriculture” or “permanent culture.” In this class, you will learn about the concepts of forest gardens and food forests, find out about zones and sectors, get strategies for soil building and learn how planting in seven layers will decrease the amount of work that go into a garden. The fee includes Arboretum admission.
Backyard Orchard: Grow Heirloom Apples Anywhere
Saturday, April 1, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Learn to grow heirloom apples in backyards and urban environments with an expert. Heirloom apples offer a wider variety of tastes than most commonly found grocery varieties and are easy to grow. Learn what you need to have your very own historic orchard, or simply add one or two heirloom trees to your backyard. For the adventurous, the class will feature a grafting demonstration that allows you to grow more varieties than what you can find at your local garden center. The fee includes Arboretum admission.
Get Style and Function with a French Kitchen Garden
Saturday, April 8, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Learn how French kitchen gardens combine beautiful design with common sense vegetable gardening. In this ornamental vegetable gardening program, we will look at examples of attractive design in a productive garden. Learn to decoratively combine vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers in a garden that is bountiful and beautiful. Delve into the elements of good gardening and discuss how they apply to vegetable gardens. Learn about interplanting, companion planting, successional sowing and plant culture. Be inspired, but also leave with a practical guide to growing food in your own yard.
Backyard Bootcamp: Landscape Basics for Homeowners
Saturday, March 4, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or
Wednesday, April 19, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Keep your yard looking great all year with this workshop designed especially for new homeowners short on time. Get easy-to-follow instructions to care for the trees, shrubs and other plants growing in your yard. Learn how and when to water, prune, fertilize and mulch. Find out what equipment is important to own and what to skip in the home center. Take home a landscape-care calendar reminding you what to do each season.
Planting a Lower-Maintenance Garden
Thursday, March 23, 6-9 p.m.
Spend less time in the yard by learning which plants require little time and effort. Understand why certain plants are easier to care for and how to choose the right set of plants for your spot. This is a great class for homeowners short on time.
Plants for Shady Spots
Wednesday, March 29, 6-9 p.m.
Bring life and interest to even the shadiest parts of your landscape. Learn about growing conditions in shady spots and how to choose shrubs and perennials that thrive with limited sunlight. This is a great class for homeowners; no gardening experience required.
Do-It-Yourself Rain Gardens
Tuesday, April 11, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Learn how to design and plant a rain garden for your home. Discover how to combine water-loving perennials and shrubs to create eco-gorgeous rain gardens that help manage water on your property and seamlessly blend into traditional landscapes. Walk away lists of plants and plant combinations and strategies for stormwater management in the home landscape.
Landscape for Life
Tuesdays, April 18 and April 25, and Thursdays, April 20 and April 27, 6-8 p.m.
Stop working against nature! Instead, harness nature's power to create a healthy, beautiful home landscape. Landscape For Life shows you how to work with nature in your garden, no matter where you live, whether you garden on a city or suburban lot, a 20-acre farm, or the common area of your condominium. Turn any garden into a gift, providing beauty, a pleasant atmosphere and food for the table. In this five-session series, learn how to transform a traditional landscape into a beautiful and sustainable environment that benefits plants, pollinators and people. This program is presented in partnership with the Midwest Ecological Landscape Alliance.
Extending the Growing Season
Saturday, April 22, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Plan now for a garden that lasts into the fall. Learn strategies for when to plant and harvest different vegetables, which vegetables do well at different times of year, how to plan succession planting for continuous yield and more.
Learn about Nature
Winter Plant ID
Saturday, March 4, 8 a.m.-noon
Learn to identify plants without leaves or flowers. Explore the Schulenberg Prairie and adjacent woodlands to practice identifying native perennials and grasses in winter with a local expert.
Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.-noon, or Friday, March 31, 1-3 p.m.
Learn the ins and outs of sharpening garden tools and bring a tool of your own to sharpen. An Arboretum horticulturist will explain how properly maintained tools will make a difference for both you and for your plants. Learn safe and proper techniques for sharpening and maintenance. This class will be held outdoors, so check the forecast and dress appropriately.
Build Your Own Musical Instrument
Saturday, March 11, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Learn to make wood sing in this build-your-own musical instrument class. Wood is an integral part of many musical instruments. It’s the foundation of string instruments such as guitars, violins and pianos as well as struck instruments such as xylophones and marimbas. This class will explore how scientific principles and wood craftsmanship are used to create musical instruments from a variety of softwoods and hardwoods. Each student will build one functioning xylophone or dulcimer-like instrument.
Chicago’s Great Parks Legacy
Thursday, March 30, 7-8:30 p.m.
Hear the fascinating history of Chicago’s parks from author and historian Julia S. Bachrach.
In 1837, when Chicago’s nascent government adopted the motto “Urbs in horto,” a Latin phrase meaning “City in a Garden,” the small village of 4,000 residents was far from garden-like. But the slogan proved to be prophetic. For nearly two centuries, Chicago’s citizens have rallied for the creation and protection of green space and the city’s parks have served as testing grounds for seminal ideas and social movements. Bachrach will illuminate the history of Chicago’s parks and highlight new additions such as the 606 and Palmisano Park that contribute to the city’s great park legacy.
Bonsai for Beginners
Sundays, April 2-May 14, 1-4 p.m.
Learn the art of bonsai during this six-week hands-on course. Discover principles and techniques to appreciate and practice the craft of bonsai. Each session includes detailed instruction from bonsai expert practitioner Ivan Watters and individualized assistance with design, styling and wiring.
Intermediate Bonsai Level 1
Sundays, April 2-May 14, 9 a.m.- noon
For those with considerable familiarity and experience with the fundamentals of bonsai, take your practice to the next level. Learn development techniques during this six-week hands-on course. Each session includes detailed instruction from bonsai expert practitioner Ivan Watters, supervised work on trees and critique of work completed during the course. Class will not take place on April 16.
Design a Spring Container
Thursday, April 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m. or Saturday, April 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Design an outstanding spring container with hardy plants that will bring color to your patio. In this easy workshop, you will learn optimal plant combinations, secrets of color and texture, successful planting techniques, how to prune and edit and more. Experienced container gardeners can use this opportunity to make the mess in our classroom and have the plants you need right at your fingertips. Bring your own container, and create a complete design to take home in this hands-on workshop.
Spring Basket Arrangement
Thursday, April 13, 2017, 7-9 p.m.
Create a spring arrangement in a basket bursting with vibrant flowers and greenery under the guidance of the Arboretum’s botanical arrangers. The hardy selection of plant materials will leave you with a long-lasting arrangement to display in your home or give as a gift.
Behind the Blooms: Magnolias
Saturday, April 15, 9-11:30 a.m.
Join Matt Lobdell, Head of Collections and Curator at the Arboretum, and Andrew Bunting, Director of Collections and Assistant Director of the Garden at Chicago Botanic Garden, to learn about the magnolia’s rich history and deep evolutionary roots on stunning magnolia blooms and hybrids for the Midwestern landscape. Bring a small branch of a magnolia from your garden, and we will identify it. Plus, examine rare books and botanical prints from the special collections of the Sterling Morton Library. After a break for refreshments and coffee, venture out on a hike to explore the specimens and seldom-seen species in the Arboretum’s extensive magnolia collections.
Spring Wildflower Walk
Saturday, April 22 or Wednesday, April 26, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Wander through the ever-changing array of blooms in our woodlands to learn how to identify wildflowers such as trillium, mayapple and dog-tooth violet and hear about their folklore. Bring a friend and enjoy this fleeting spring pleasure.
Observing Spring Seasonal Changes
Saturdays, April 22 through May 6, 9 a.m.-noon
Study the sights and signs of spring as they emerge. The study of seasonal changes—the emergence of flowers, leaves, and insects, the migration and behavior of birds and more—is called phenology. Learn techniques to observe and record spring phenology and gain a new appreciation of the Arboretum in spring. This program is great for naturalists, teachers, artists, photographers and anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of spring ecology.
Plant Collecting Methods
Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Learn the methods scientists use to collect and preserve plants. Dried reference specimens of plants are an important tool for conservation and science. These dried reference specimens are stored in a special collection called a herbarium, and they are used to document biodiversity and as evidence for scientific studies. Join staff from the Arboretum’s Herbarium to learn how scientists collect and preserve plants and what information needs to be collected. Class participants will also practice making pressed plant samples and learn how information stored in herbaria is used and shared for scientific research.
Spring into Gardening Walking Tour
Thursday, April 27, 6-8 p.m.
Take a walk through the display gardens at the Arboretum with a horticulturist as your guide and learn the best ways to “wake up” your garden for the season. From clean-up, to dividing, to tool use, and more, you’ll get plenty of valuable time-saving tips and sustainable techniques to start your garden on the path to greatness this spring.
Beginning Home Composting
Wednesday, April 5, 7-9 p.m.
Discover the basics of backyard composting and composting with worms. Compost is that dark crumbly material—the result of decomposed organic materials—that improves the structure and texture of the soil enabling it to better retain nutrients, moisture and air around plant roots. You can buy it in bags, but it’s easy to make your own. Learn how to turn yard waste and kitchen scraps into wonderfully rich, free compost—black gold for your garden.
Lunch and Learn
Building a Great Outdoor Museum: The Development of The Morton Arboretum
Wednesday, March 1, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Marking our 95th anniversary in 2017, The Morton Arboretum has a rich history to celebrate. Since our founding by Joy Morton in 1922, the land has been mapped, sculpted, expanded, planted, cultivated and studied by a host of people. Join us to chronicle some of these stories, people, plants and places that have contributed to our flourishing Arboretum story as we continue to build a great outdoor museum.
Reshaping the DuPage River
Wednesday, March 15, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Why does the DuPage River need to be restored? What is involved when improving the habitat of the river? Learn about the DuPage River restoration project from the head of natural resources at The Morton Arboretum. Find out how the Arboretum and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are improving the environmental health and biodiversity of the East Branch of the DuPage River, which flows through the heart of The Morton Arboretum.
Visiting Artist Series: Use the Layering Method in Watercolor with Peggy MacNamara
Saturday, March 4, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Approach watercolor as though it were oil paint, and learn to build color and form in a slow deliberate manner. Join visiting artist Peggy MacNamara in this one-day workshop and learn to use the layering method in watercolor, which allows the artist to remove and replace images.
Begin to Draw Nature
Saturdays, March 11 through April 1, 9 a.m.-noon
Learn the basics of drawing nature in this course designed for true beginners. We will discuss everything from how to hold your pencil to what kind of paper to use. You will have time to work on drawing skills in a no-pressure setting.
Color Theory, Colored Pencil
Wednesdays, March 15 through April 12, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Explore the nature of color and how colors impact each other and the viewer. Develop the vocabulary to discuss color and practice its application in the medium of colored pencil. Add to your sketchbook and finish several colored pencil drawings. Class will not take place March 29.
Create an Altered Book
Sunday, March 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Altering books is the process of recycling books for another purpose using gesso, pasting, cutting and image altering. Altered books can be used for sketching and journaling.
Botanical Art with Pencil
Tuesdays, March 28 through April 18, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Learn to capture early spring with graphite, the perfect medium for textures. As you study and draw the details of living plants, you will learn the techniques of pencil drawing, develop your eye-hand coordination, and learn the structures of the plants you draw. Regular activities include daily drawing exercises, weekly home assignments and constructive critiques.
Visiting Artist Series: Value and Color in Landscapes with Laverne Bohlin
Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Learn why value is essential to accurately capturing a landscape in your art. In this two-day pastel workshop, visiting artist Laverne Bohlin will show you how to use the correct value and to notice the subtle shifts of value that exist in the landscape. Develop your sensitivity to a color’s value so you are better able to separate it from its hue.
Beginner’s Nature Drawing Workshop: Colored Pencil
Saturday April 8, or Sunday April 9, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Spend a day learning the basics and create a colored pencil drawing of a spring flower. We will enjoy light refreshments and end the day with a stroll through the spring exhibit of the Nature Artists’ Guild at The Morton Arboretum.
Nature in Gouache
Wednesdays, April 12 through May 3, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Learn to paint the bright greens and colors of spring in gouache, an opaque watercolor. We will work from specimens found at the Morton Arboretum. Some supplies included.
Saturday, March 25 or Saturday, April 8, 1-4 p.m.
This class will cover the best ways to use your smartphone to capture attractive images and recommend a selection of good starter apps for some basic post-processing of your photos. We will demonstrate with an iPhone and iPad but the techniques and apps apply to most smartphones. Remember, the best camera is the one that’s with you. Whether you are new to photography or an old hand, discover techniques for getting great nature images with your phone.
Golden Hour Photography
Sunday, April 2, 5-8 p.m. or Thursday, May 25, 6-9 p.m.
Join an expert photographer for golden hour, that magical moment just before sunset when the soft light gives everything a special, warm glow. Working under the guidance of your instructor, learn how to use the settings on your camera and how to compose your shot to best capture the scene. Experiment with front-lighting, backlighting, rim lighting and flare. Go home with new knowledge to practice and apply on your own.
Nature Photography: Beyond the Basics
Thursdays, April 6, 13, and 20, 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturdays, April 8 and April 15, 8-11 a.m.
Be intentional about the photographs you take by gaining control of your camera settings and developing your eye for photography. If you have the basics down but want to grow your skills as a nature photographer, this intermediate course will help you take the guesswork out of your shots through classroom instruction, hands-on practice, field sessions and personal feedback from an expert nature photographer.
Unfolding Spring through Photography
Thursdays, April 13 and 27 and May 11, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Follow your subject over the course of several weeks to see how it unfolds throughout the spring. Three classroom lectures and critiques take place every other week, with field assignments to be completed on your own. Leave with a portfolio of images that tell a story of spring. Class will not take place May 4.
On Assignment at the Arboretum: Telling a Story with Your Camera
Wednesdays, April 26 through May 17, 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturdays, April 29 and May 6, 7-10 a.m.
Develop a series of images to show a story about the Arboretum and present them as a portfolio. The class will consist of two shooting assignments and four class sessions. Participants will choose a theme, create images based on that theme, and have those images critiqued before assembling a final story.
Arboretum Running Tour
Saturday, April 8, 8-9:30 a.m.
Strap on your running shoes for an informative running tour of the Arboretum. In April, we’ll take in the rolling terrain on this 5K route on the West Side, with an option to include Lake Marmo. Learn about the natural surroundings with an experienced guide. The tour will include stops along the way to learn about the Arboretum and the plants and animals that call it home. This program is suitable for all levels of runners, with two guides to accommodate varying paces.
Glacial History Bike Tour
Saturday, April 8, 1-3 p.m.
Learn the geologic history of the Midwest as we cycle the roads of the Arboretum. The beautiful rolling terrain of hills, valleys meadows reveal a story of glaciers and erosion over the past fifteen thousand years. A bicycle is the ideal way to explore this varied glacial terrain.
Nature Rx: Forest Therapy Walks
Monday, March 6 or March 20
Saturday, March 11 or March 25
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$25 per class
Experience the healing and wellness promoting effects of Shinrin-Yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest. Take a mindful walk with a certified Forest Therapy guide on a trail at The Morton Arboretum as you awaken your senses and reconnect with nature. The walks will visit different locations at the Arboretum and will include a variety of awareness-raising exercises. The walks will conclude with tea made from edible plants foraged along the trail.
Full & New Moon Yoga
Tuesday, March 28, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Explore your lunar energy while connecting the mind and body in this peaceful yoga class in honor of the full and new moons each month.
Meditation and Essential Oils
Mondays, April 10 or April 24, 6-7 p.m.
Explore meditative and self-nurturing yoga poses with the use of plant-based essential oils to restore and rebalance the mind and body in the tranquil setting of The Morton Arboretum.
Nature Rx: Forest Therapy Walks
Select Mondays, April 10 through May 22, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Select Saturdays, April 8 through May 27, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$25 per class, $92 for a series
Experience the healing and wellness promoting effects of Shinrin-Yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest. Take a slow and mindful walk with a certified Forest Therapy guide on a trail at the Morton Arboretum as you awaken your senses and reconnect with nature. The walks will visit different locations at the Arboretum and will include a variety of sensory awareness exercises. The walks will conclude with tea made from edible plants foraged along the trail.
Restoration and Wildlife
Online component begins Friday, March 3
In-person component is Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Identify and apply short- and long-term restoration activities to enhance wildlife habitat. We will identify the places wildlife habitat exists in an example ecosystem, describe how wildlife impacts the ecosystem and how management and restoration could impact wildlife. You will consider the specific biology and ecology of the plants, animals and sites involved when making effective restoration plans and discuss how to implement monitoring plans to assess effectiveness of restoration. We will discuss and describe how trees, plants, and other species of concern exist as part of interdependent ecosystems.
Intro to Ecological Restoration
Online component begins Tuesday, March 7
In-person component is Tuesdays, March 14 and March 28, 6-8 p.m.
Discover the principles and practice of ecosystem restoration. Ecological restoration is a process for improving the quality of our regional forests, water, air and biodiversity. Engage with experts in natural resource conservation and fellow participants and volunteers to converse about ecological restoration. Explore what we mean when we say ecological restoration, examples in concept and practice and discuss the implications of this work. The program will include both online learning modules and in-person discussions.
Spring Native Plant Propagation
Sunday, March 19, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Learn spring methods for propagating your favorite native plants. Learn how to bring seeds out of stratification, plant in seed trays and transplant seedlings. Practice making hardwood cuttings, dividing plants and starting new plants from suckers.
Online component begins April 2
In-person component is Sunday April 9, 1-5 p.m.
Explore the interactions that drive ecosystem function and learn to identify plants, animals, and fungi in relation to ecological habitats. By developing knowledge of ecological food webs and species interdependence you will have a better understanding of how to manage natural areas to support biodiversity. We will discuss influential variables that determine habitat quality and shape an ecosystem, such as light, water, fire, and herbivory. An emphasis on the cyclical nature of the seasons and life history of native species will allow insights for short-term and long-term natural areas management.
Identify Woodland Wildflowers
Online component begins Thursday, April 28
In-person component is Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Learn the names and ecology of the wildflowers that cover the woodland floor in spring. In spring, ephemeral wildflowers cover the woodlands in an explosion of colors. In this intermediate workshop, learn to identify these plants and discover their biology through study online, in the classroom, and in our spring woods. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation of the beauty and diversity of woodland plants and their role and importance in a functioning woodland ecosystem.