The Morton Arboretum Receives $1 Million Donation From BP
BP Gift To Help Arboretum Education Programs Flourish
LISLE, IL (May 7, 2007) – The Morton Arboretum has received a $1 million donation from BP Foundation, Inc. that will help fund the Arboretum’s Science Programs for Schools, over the next ten years. The programs served approximately 33,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade last year in DuPage County with integrated science education experiences in the classroom and on Arboretum grounds.
“BP’s investment is intended to help the Arboretum address the changing science education needs of students with diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds,” said Steve Elbert, BP America Vice Chairman and Arboretum Trustee. “This endowment recognizes that people flourish at the Arboretum - much like the beautiful trees that flourish there as well. We are pleased to contribute to the sustainability of Arboretum programs that enhance education and promote care for our environment,” he said.
Dr. Gerard T. Donnelly, Arboretum President and CEO said the donation “will truly invigorate the Science Programs for Schools, which is designed to help today’s students become tomorrow’s stewards of the environment.”
Noting that the Arboretum, a nonprofit, relies upon philanthropic contributions to support all of its programs, Donnelly added “BP’s gift will help us build upon the very important donations of other corporations and foundations, whose funding over the past two years allowed us to begin offering these school programs to underserved schools at no charge, and remains a critical component of these programs.”
At “underserved” schools, at least 40-percent of the students are from low-income families. Corporations whose funding makes possible the science instruction to underserved schools are Alexander and Baldwin Foundation, Bank of America N A, The Brinson Foundation, The DuPage Community Foundation, Hamill Family Foundation, and Topfer Family Foundation.
Science Programs for Schools, which serves approximately 300 schools, is designed to reach students early in their academic careers to promote science education and instill an appreciation for the value of trees, nature, and the environment. The students examine and learn about woodland ecosystems, wetlands, prairies, and animal habitats. Through field trips to The Morton Arboretum grounds, and classroom instruction here, students see science in action, connecting theory to real world experience, and learning that the scientific method is an effective tool for investigating their world. Credit from all such Arboretum courses can be applied to state and federal learning standards.
The Arboretum also issued 1,200 family passes to the students from underserved schools and their families, so that the children could continue their nature exploration with their families.
BP’s donation to the Arboretum is the most recent of its community investments focused on enhancing education opportunities for youth. As one example, BP is investing $1 million in A+ For Energy® education program grants and scholarships for teachers in the Chicago Metropolitan Area this year. The program has already awarded $6.5 million to more than 5,000 California and Texas teachers, helping more than 211,000 students over three years. It is being expanded this year to communities in Illinois, Indiana, Alabama, New Mexico, Ohio and Canada. For more information about BP, visit www.bp.com
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,057 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever is earlier, Central Time. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630-968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contact: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103,