Rare, "Behind The Scenes" Look at The Morton Arboretum
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Open House Promises to be an Eye Opener
LISLE, IL (June 18, 2009) - Here's a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at a side of The Morton Arboretum that most visitors never get to see. At the Member Open House on Sunday, June 28 from noon to 4 p.m., Arboretum members invite non-members to enjoy special tours, mini-classes, engaging artistic demonstrations, entertainment, food, and more. The afternoon promises enlightenment and joy for anyone, especially those who've never been to a tree museum before. Everyone will get a chance to talk with the scientists, arborists, educators and horticulturists who make the Arboretum a special place with a special purpose: to make our world greener, healthier, and more beautiful.
Ever wonder what's really going on under the soil, where tree roots grow? Want to learn how to estimate a tree's age? Do you know the top tree root problems in urban areas and how to address them? Research scientists will be on hand to help you unlock the secrets of these and other tree-related questions.
Tram tours, which cost $5 each, will take visitors on illuminating trips to the China Collection, Schulenberg Prairie, wetlands and the tree breeding nursery. Experts in the Collections Department will explain the important tree breeding, living collections, and natural areas management work at the Arboretum, and answer questions.
Guides will take guests on walking tours through state-of-the-art greenhouses and the Arboretum Herbarium, a library of 176,000 categorized dried plant specimens, including a wild hybrid buckeye from a seed that George Washington collected in 1784; a fern that Clarence Hemingway collected in 1891, just eight years before his famous child, Ernest, was born; and three willow specimens from 1824. The Herbarium houses the most significant collection of flora of the Chicago region.
The Sterling Morton Library will offer "An Afternoon at the Library," where visitors can explore the collections and the beautiful and serene May T. Watts Reading Garden, sip free wine samples courtesy of Bonterra wines, and enjoy art to the backdrop of live classical music. Jim Ballowe, author of Joy Morton: A Man of Salt and Trees, will be on hand to sign his book about the Arboretum's enterprising founder, and answer questions. Arlene Widrvitz will provide a wood engraving demonstration. There'll be a special preview of our newest library exhibit: Darwin's Flowers: Unlocking Natural Selection. Finally, library staff will pull out interesting historical artifacts and books from the archives.
Visitors will be treated to scenes from this summer's outdoor plays called Theatre-Hikes, including Mountain Days: The John Muir Musical, The Duck Variations, Charlotte's Web, Jackie: An American Life, and Sleepy Hollow.
Adults and children can try a mini-class to sample the Arboretum's enriching educational offerings. Learn some birdwatching basics. Get a sense of how to begin designing your home landscape. Take a guided walking tour of Meadow Lake. Enjoy a botanical painting demonstration by artist Suzanne Wegener.
And, there's much more! There'll be free ice cream provided by Edy's. For those who enjoy large machines, there will be an opportunity to climb into the tractors, trucks and cherry-pickers that we use to maintain our 1,700-acres. Our resident plant container expert will demonstrate how to create gorgeous displays. Plant Clinic experts will be on hand to diagnose tree and shrub problems and recommend solutions. The Community Trees Advocate will describe how the Arboretum helps homeowners and municipalities on various tree issues.
The events are first-come, first-served.
Member Open House tickets, which include Arboretum admission, are $17 for adults and $10 for children, ages 2-17 (discounts for Arboretum members). Tickets for any of the four tram tours, $5 per person, are available prior to the event at 630-725-2066 or www.mortonarb.org. Those purchasing memberships during this event pay the member ticket price.
The Morton Arboretum gratefully acknowledges our sponsors: Bonterra Vineyards and Edy's ice cream.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,117 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. Central Time or sunset, whichever is earlier. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit Press Room at www.mortonarb.org, call to learn more.
Media Contact: Gina Tedesco, (office) 630-725-2103,