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TREES & Plants

Wild Garden

Wild Garden at The Morton Arboretum
On the West Side of The Morton Arboretum, just west of Thornhill Education Center, is a living classroom known as the wild garden.


This wonderful tranquil garden, located alongside the Outpost building, erected in 1948 under the direction of May T. Watts. The garden was developed in the early 1970s by Arboretum naturalist Richard Wason as a teaching aid for schoolchildren participating in the Arboretum classes. Today, the garden is used as a living classroom for students, nature enthusiasts, and scouts participating in the Arboretum merit badge programs.

A short trail takes you through the garden, enabling you to admire the beautiful array of woodland and prairie plants. Keep your eye out for trout lily (Erythronium americanum), prairie crabapple (Malus ioensis), and eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis).