July-August 2018 Events at The Morton Arboretum

A Toro Nagashi Japanese floating lantern display on water
The Destination Asia Festival returns August 3 through August 5
April 19, 2018

The Morton Arboretum is celebrating the sunny days and warm evenings of July and August with unforgettable exhibitions, events, and programs for all ages.

Throughout the summer, visitors can wander our wooded grounds to search for larger-than-life trolls, during Troll Hunt by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. One-of-a-kind and truly awe-inspiring, Troll Hunt features six unique 15- to 20-foot-tall wooden creatures made of reclaimed wood “living” on the Arboretum’s grounds, each there to make sure we  are good stewards of the environment. In July, we’re hosting a 1980s-themed Mystery Dinner in our Ginkgo Restaurant and August features the popular Destination Asia Festival, including an opening ceremony complete with a beautiful floating lantern display.

Returning summer events include Bikes, Branches and Bites, a chance to explore our miles of tree-lined roads on two wheels and enjoy a variety of food trucks, as well as the popular Grown-Up Play Date, when adults can  take a night off from their responsibilities and have some carefree fun in our four-acre Children’s Garden. This August marks the third for our Wine and Art Walk, which will feature intricate artwork for sale along the path encircling picturesque Meadow Lake, as well as the return of the alfresco dining experience, Farm-to-Table Dinner.

Throughout July and August, visitors can enjoy weekly events such as the new Arbor Evenings: Music and More and Thursday Family Nights.

A list of July and August Arboretum events and details is below. For more information, visit mortonarb.org/events. All prices listed are for the general public and information is accurate as of the date of this release, but we encourage media to check the website prior to publication as times and dates may change.


July-August Highlights

Troll Hunt
Daily in July and August, 7 a.m.-sunset
Free with Arboretum admission
There have been reports of troll sightings in the woods of The Morton Arboretum! Six colossal creatures and a hideout have all been spotted, but why have these giant trolls made their home at the Arboretum and what do they want to know about us?  The work of noted Danish artist Thomas Dambo, Troll Hunt marks the first exhibition of its kind in the United States. Visitors can seek out these 15- to 20-foot trolls created from reclaimed wood in and around our Visitor Center and hidden away in our forests.

NEW! Arbor Evenings: Music and More
Wednesdays through August 29, 5:30-8 p.m.
Unwind with family and friends on Wednesday evenings at The Morton Arboretum this summer during this new event. Mingle as you enjoy live music from top local bands and dancing as well as lawn games, refreshing beverages, and delicious tapas in a green clearing surrounded by beautiful trees. NOTE: Arbor Evenings will not take place July 4.

Thursday Family Nights
Thursdays through August 16, 5-8 p.m.
Enjoy live music, kid-friendly fare, and entertainment after hours in the Children’s Garden.

Bikes, Branches & Bites
Saturday, July 7, 4:30-sunset
Free with Arboretum admission
Explore the beautiful tree collections on two wheels as you cycle on miles of vehicle-free, paved roads. Take a break from riding to enjoy a variety of food truck favorites.

Mystery Dinner
Friday, July 13, 6:30 p.m.
Join us on Friday the 13th to help solve a 1980s-themed mystery. Dust off your 80s wear  and get ready for an interactive mystery dinner. Ticket includes open bar from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and a three-course dinner.

Chicagoland Daylily Society Show
Sunday, July 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Marvel at the wide range of colors and varieties of daylilies and participate in the judging as the Chicagoland Daylily Society presents this day-long show.

Destination Asia Opening Ceremony
Friday, August 3, 6-8:30 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Kick off our fifth-annual Destination Asia Festival with a formal ceremony, engaging performances, culinary delights, and a breathtaking Japanese floating lantern display on Meadow Lake.

Destination Asia Festival
Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Join us for a trip to the east  with our fifth-annual Destination Asia Festival. Explore diverse cultures through music, including Japanese drumming, dance, food, and a bonsai show.

NEW! Bees and Bourbon
Tuesday, August 7, 7-9 p.m.
Enjoy a summery bourbon cocktail and get the buzz on bees with entomologist and author May Berenbaum. As you sip your beverage, this bee expert will reveal the winged creatures as fellow drinkers, ones who work hard for their elixir. You’ll learn that what bees drink and how they drink is a complicated and fascinating affair. Program attendees can also pick up a copy of Berenbaum’s cookbookHoney, I'm Homemade,” and have it signed by the author. Sales of the book will benefit the University of Illinois Pollinatarium, the first freestanding science outreach center in the nation focused on flowering plants and their pollinators.

Grown-Up Play Date
Friday, August 10, 6-9 p.m.
Get in touch with your inner child and celebrate at our Grown-Up Play Date in the Children’s Garden. Join us for a night of childhood fun as you explore, climb, and slide through all the wonders of our four-acre garden. All “kids” must be 21+ to attend. One drink ticket is included in the ticket price. For pricing details, visit mortonarb.org .

Wine and Art Walk
Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Enjoy live music, sip wine, and shop for art as you stroll around Meadow Lake. Browse this juried art show featuring photography, woodturning, jewelry, digital and traditional painting, fused glass, and more from Midwest artists.  

Wine Tasting
Thursday, August 30, $40
Savor seasonal wines among the trees during this event is reserved for those 21 and older.


The Arboretum Store

Summer Clearance Sale
Daily, July 27 through August 24, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Shoppers can enjoy markdowns of 30 to 60 percent off home decor items, in addition to savings on desktop items, apparel, and jewelry. Members receive an additional 10 percent off.


Dining Events

Farm to Table Dinner
Friday, August 24, 6-8:30 p.m.
Experience elegant outdoor dining surrounded in natural beauty. This one-of-a-kind meal features fresh, local ingredients expertly prepared and served under our White Pine Pavilion. Join us for a night of delicious, farm-fresh food and enjoy live music on an enchanted summer evening. Visit mortonarb.org for pricing details.


Wellness Programs

Tree Pose Family Yoga
Mondays in July and August, 10-11 a.m.
Experience nature from a new angle through fun animal and tree yoga poses. Young students will learn about the environment while stretching, moving, and breathing like the creatures around them. We’ll practice outdoors if the weather allows.

FIT4MOM Stroller Strides®
Saturdays, July 7 and August 11, 10-11 a.m.
Experience the Arboretum’s beauty as you get fit with your little ones along for the ride. Stroller Strides® is a stroller-based fitness program designed for moms with young children. Each 60-minute, total body workout incorporates power walking and jogging, strength, toning, songs, and activities.

Meditation with Essential Oils  
Mondays, July 9, July 23, August 6 or August 20, 6-7 p.m.
$20 per class
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.   

Restorative Aerial Tree Yoga
Tuesday, July 10 and Thursday, July 12, 5:30-6:45 p.m. or 7:15-8:30 p.m.
Experience the many restorative and therapeutic benefits of aerial yoga while you relax, release, and deepen into yoga poses supported by a hammock.

Arboretum Yoga
Wednesdays, July 11 through August 8, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays, July 12 through August 9, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
$18 per class, $80 for a series
Improve your health and well-being with yoga. We will practice poses, breathing and meditation in this class.

Forest Therapy Walks (1 hour 45 minutes)
Wednesdays, July 11 and August 8, 6-7:45 p.m.
Mondays, July 9 and August 6, 9:30-11:15 a.m.
$20 per class

Forest Therapy Walks (3 hour)
Saturdays, July 14 and August 11, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Mondays, July 23 and August 20, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$33 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.  

Aerial Tree Yoga
Monday, July 16, 6-7 p.m. or 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 15, 5-6 p.m. or 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 16, 9:30-10:30 a.m. or 11-noon
Wednesday, August 22, 4:30-5:30 p.m. or 6-7 p.m.
Try out this sampler session of aerial yoga. Stretch, strengthen, and release stress while having fun, cocooned in a hammock suspended from the trees.  Aerial yoga offers wonderful benefits to the mind, body and soul, and is suitable for beginners as well as experienced yogis.

Forest Therapy: Art in the Forest
Saturday July 21, Monday August 13, or Sunday September 16, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$33 per class
This forest therapy walk intertwines art and Shinrin-Yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest.  Take a mindful walk with a certified Forest Therapy guide and create art inspired by the natural surroundings. Creating art in the forest is about the process and not the final product. Reflective journaling and tea made from plants foraged along the walk will conclude the experience.  

NEW! Full Moon Aerial Tree Yoga
Friday, July 27 7:30-8:30 p.m. or Sunday, August 26, 7-8 p.m.
Stretch, strengthen, and release stress while having fun, cocooned in a hammock suspended from the trees and underneath the full moon. Aerial yoga offers wonderful benefits to the mind, body and soul, and is suitable for beginners as well as experienced yogis.

Stretch and Sip
Thursday, August 16, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
For ultimate relaxation, join us for one hour of peaceful yoga stretches, then enjoy sipping your beverage of choice while enjoying the tranquility of The Morton Arboretum.


Children’s Garden Programs

Darting Dragonflies (18-35 months)
Tuesday July 10 or Wednesday July 18, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Darting Dragonflies (3-5 years)
Wednesday July 11, Thursday July 12, or Tuesday July 17, 9:30-11 a.m.
Investigate the lives of the fastest insect in the world. We will hike, splash, and play in this sensory-based program all about dragonflies. Participants should dress to get wet.    

Wiggly Worms (18-35 months)
Tuesday August 7, or Wednesday, August 15, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Wiggly Worms (3-5 years)
Wednesday, August 8, Tuesday, August 14, or Thursday, August 16, 9:30-11 a.m.
Dig in the dirt, wiggle like worms, and investigate the world under our feet in this interactive, sensory-based program.  We’ll also take a short hike, listen to stories, and play in the dirt.


Youth and Family Programs

Acorn Express Adventures
Wednesdays and Fridays in July and August, 11-11:45 a.m.
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 July 4.The fee does not include Arboretum admission.

NEW! Nature Play Date
Tuesdays, July 31 and August 28, 11 a.m.-noon
Join us for a play date among the trees. We’ll hop on the Acorn Express Tram and head to one of the Arboretum’s Nature Play Spaces.  We’ll provide the space and fun, while you play, explore, and discover nature with other families. The fee does not include Arboretum admission.

Family Twilight Adventures
Fridays, July 13, August 31 or September 7, 7-9 p.m., or
Saturdays, July 28, August 11 or September 15, 7-9 p.m.
Join us for a fun-filled adventure after hours at the Arboretum. We’ll hike, do activities, and roast marshmallows before going on a silent tram ride through the woods. Come see what happens at the Arboretum at night. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  

Children’s Garden Campout
Friday, July 20 through Saturday July 21, 6:30 p.m.-9 a.m. or Friday, August 17 through Saturday August 18, 6:30 p.m.-9 a.m.
Join us for a campout designed especially for families. Pitch your tent on the lawn inside the Children’s Garden and get ready for a night filled with fun. Visit hands–on activity stations, then enjoy snacks, night hikes, and bedtime stories. When you get sleepy, retire to your tent. In the morning, wake to the sound of birds singing before enjoying a light breakfast and a chance to explore the Children’s Garden with your family before it opens to the general public.

Acorn Express Adventures–Homeschool Journey
Wednesday, August 1, 9:30-10:15 a.m.
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. The fee does not include Arboretum admission.

Girl Scout Campout in the Children’s Garden
Friday, August 24 through Saturday August 25, 6:30 p.m.-9 a.m.
Join us for a camp–out designed especially for scouts! Pitch your tent on the lawn inside the Children’s Garden and get ready for a night filled with fun. Visit hands–on activity stations, then enjoy snacks, night hikes, and bedtime stories. When you get sleepy, retire to your tent. In the morning, wake to the sound of birds singing before enjoying a light breakfast and a chance to explore the Children’s Garden with your family before it opens to the general public.

Family Explorers Backpack
Daily in July and August, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
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. The fee does not include Arboretum admission.


Adult Classes and Programs

Bird Walks

Bird Walks
Saturdays, July 21 or August 18, 8-10:30 a.m.
Search the woods, fields, and edges of the Arboretum for birds. Walk with an expert guide, who will help you locate and identify species spotted along the way. See how things change each month and season—no walk is the same. No prior experience is necessary.

Shorebird ID
Thursday, August 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Saturday, August 18, 8-11 a.m.
Learn the identifying characteristics of local shorebirds. Learn the types and characteristics of shorebirds found in northern Illinois in the classroom, then spend a morning searching local hotspots to identify these birds in the field. Shorebirds need shallow water and mud flat habitats, which are rich in the small invertebrates they feed on. These seasonal, ephemeral habitats can make shorebird viewing a challenge, so the knowledge of an expert guide is very helpful. Participants will first attend lecture at the Arboretum to learn about the characteristics of shorebirds. Then on Saturday, they’ll visit the best locations for shorebird viewing.


Learn about Nature

Perennial Maintenance Walking Tour
Tuesday, July 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Stroll the Arboretum's stunning perennial beds where you’ll learn about plant placement, dividing, transplanting, watering, fertilizing, mulching, and more. Knowing what to do and when to do it will help keep your perennial gardens looking good from spring through fall.

Hydrangeas 101
Wednesday, July 11, 9 a.m.- noon
Get tips for choosing, planting, and caring for hydrangeas, a top choice among home gardeners. A great long-blooming shrub for the home landscape, hydrangea varieties have become one of the hottest must-have plants for your yard. The class will explore heirloom favorites and the hottest new cultivars as well as proper siting, care, and pruning requirements of each of the five shrub species and two vines commonly planted in the Chicago area. Participants will have the opportunity to head out to the gardens to experience each of the types up close.

Natural History Bike Tour
Friday, July 13, 6-8 p.m.
Discover the natural history of northeast Illinois as we cycle the roads of the Arboretum. The Arboretum contains wonderful examples of the region’s wetland, prairie, and woodland ecosystems. Learn about the characteristics of these natural areas that define northeast Illinois. Find out about the fascinating geology that characterizes the landscape, including the glacial moraines that are responsible for the hilly terrain at the Arboretum.

Sustainable Gardens: Designing for Birds and Bees
Saturday, July 14, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Attract pollinators to your garden with native plants and sustainable gardening techniques. Bees and birds offer many benefits to both land and people, so why not create a space for them in your home garden? In this class, participants will learn the basic principles of sustainability, how to assess a garden for sustainability, and sustainable soil-building, watering practices, and maintenance solutions.

Wilderness Skills 101: Survival Essentials
Saturday, July 14, 9-noon
Be prepared for your next outdoor adventure. Whether you’re planning to hike, backpack, mountain bike, or paddle, knowing what to do when the unexpected happens can make all the difference. Learn what you can do before you even leave home to improve your odds of a safe adventure, how to assess your situation, weigh priorities, and make a plan, and the 10 essential items you should carry on every trip.

Basic Tree ID
Saturday, July 14, 8:30-11 a.m.
Learn to identify the common trees you see in local preserves or in your neighborhood.  Use characteristics such as leaves, bark, branches, flowers, and fruit to identify a tree. Learn to use keys and field guides. Walk the grounds of the Arboretum with an expert, who will point out key identifiers of common trees. See and understand your natural surroundings in a new way.

Garden Rescue Series: Combat Weeds
Tuesday, July 17, 7-9 p.m.
Garden Rescue Series: Combat Pests
Tuesday, July 24, 7-9 p.m.
Learn about the pesky visitors that pop up in your garden uninvited. Find out what qualifies as a weed and as a pest and learn to identify common ones so you can call them by name. Learn which insects are actually an ally in the garden. Get effective strategies to prevent and eradicate weeds and pests from your beds and lawn using non-chemical methods whenever possible. Get the low-down on the use of chemical weed killers and pesticides and their place in your regimen.

Know Your Natives
Saturday, July 21, 9 a.m.-noon
Enrich your understanding of our local natural areas by learning to identify the most common native plants you’re likely to encounter. Colorful flowers and swaying grasses change from day to day in the Arboretum’s prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. Take a morning stroll with an expert and learn to identify some of the stars of summer. This class is great for the beginner or for any naturalist looking to brush up on native plant identification.

NEW! Fake News, Real Science: How to Make Sense of the Information Landscape
Thursday, July 26, 10:30 a.m.-noon
Free with Arboretum admission
We are confronted with a vast amount of information every day, and it can be difficult to find trusted and credible sources of expertise. This hands-on workshop will teach you how to identify less-than-credible sources and what questions to ask yourself as you’re looking for good advice online and beyond to answer questions about trees, plants, and the environment.

Prairie Ethnobotany
Saturday, July 28, 8:30-11 a.m.
Learn how humans have used prairie plants on this summer hike. The prairie once served as a pharmacy, grocery store, fuels source, fortune teller, and so much more. Discover a different dimension of the prairie as you enjoy vibrant summer blooms and grasses and learn about their many historical and traditional uses.

Preserving the Harvest
Saturday, July 28, 10 a.m.-noon
Learn home preservation methods and continue to enjoy your seasonal bounty well into the fall and winter months. Learn how and what to freeze, dehydrate, ferment, and can. Watch a step-by-step canning and pickling demonstration, and go home armed with all the tips and tricks you need to do it yourself.  

Beasts at Bedtime: The Environmental Wisdom of Children's Literature with Author Liam Heneghan
Sunday, July 29, 1-2:30 p.m.
Revisit your favorite childhood books—and some unknown treasures—through a new lens with author, scholar, and dad, Liam Heneghan. In his newest book, “Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children's Literature,” Heneghan explores the vast richness of environmental themes and insights woven throughout children's literature. Environmental scientists and casual nature enthusiasts alike will delight in revisiting youth through an environmental lens.

Dragonfly and Damselfly ID
Friday, August 3, 8-11 a.m.
Learn to identify dragonflies and damselflies on the grounds of the Arboretum. Join an experienced dragonfly monitor and naturalist to learn about the diversity, habitat, and behaviors of these astonishing and colorful insects. Explore the grounds and see how many species you can locate and identify.

Great Hikes in Literature
Sunday, August 5, 1-2:30 p.m.
Travel the world's great trails as told from the perspective of beloved nature writers. Participants will explore why we hike to find ourselves and what we discover along our travels. From old standards to new voices, from the heart-wrenching to the humorous, hear excerpts from writings such “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson.

Rare Habitats Tour: Fens of Illinois
Thursday, August 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Join a botanist for a guided tour of the fens of Illinois. One of the more rare plant community types in the state, calcareous fens are wetlands created by glaciers. Examples include grass-of-parnassus, Kalm's lobelia, and false asphodel. This tour will visit several high-quality examples of fens located in dedicated Illinois nature preserves in the Chicago region.

Sustainable Gardens: Designing with Reclaimed Materials
Saturday, August 18, 9 a.m.-noon
Add character and sustainability to your garden using repurposed materials. Instead of heading to the landfill, old bricks, wooden beams, metal sheeting, and more can find new life as design elements in your garden. Use them to create containers, borders, water features, and more. In this class, participants will learn how to make informed decisions when selecting garden materials, how to reuse materials, and how to identify the best local salvage and recycling centers for large-scale garden and home recycling.


Bonsai Programs

Bring Your Own Tree Workshop
Saturday, August 4, 9 a.m.-noon
In this class, attendees will work with a bonsai master from Prairie State Bonsai Society on their individual trees. Students are asked to bring in what tools they have on hand. Extra tools will be provided by the bonsai organization.

Flowering Pear and Crabapple Workshop
Saturday, August 4, 9 a.m.-noon
This workshop is geared toward beginners and those with an intermediate skill level. The workshop will consist of initial styling and wiring of dwarfed flowering pear and crabapple trees along with discussion of carving opportunities with an expert instructor.  

Children’s Bonsai Workshop
Saturday, August 4, 2-5 p.m.
An expert instructor will work with children to create their own bonsai with a Shimpaku Juniper tree.

Procumbens Juniper Workshop
Sunday, August 5, 9 a.m.-noon
This beginner to intermediate class will feature Procumbens Juniper.  The primary focus of this workshop will be what to look for in creating bonsai. The class will focus on design and wiring and participants will leave with a tree that has its first initial styling and is on its way to becoming a bonsai.

Field Grown Fir Tree Workshop
Sunday, August 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
This workshop features Douglas and Corkbark fir trees.  These trees have 2- to 3-inch trunks and are between 3 and  4 feet tall. The workshop will include instruction on initial bonsai styling and provide guidance on wiring and branch selection.

Silver Bonsai Pendant Workshop
Sunday, August 5, 1-4 p.m.
This workshop is open to all skill levels and artistic abilities. Class participants will create and carve a pendant that showcases bonsai or suiseki, which features rocks with distinctive shapes due to wind, rain, and the passage of time. Every student will receive one on-one detailed instruction on how to create a design.


Botanical Art

Nature in Graphite
Thursdays, July 12 through August 2, 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.

Adult Coloring Night: Troll Hunt Edition
Thursday, July 12, 7-9 p.m.
Kick back and relax with a night of coloring, complete with a cash bar and cheese and crackers. The theme of the night is trolls, celebrating the Arboretum’s six larger-than-life trolls built from reclaimed materials by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. The evening will begin with a brief lesson from an art instructor, who will share tips to elevate your coloring skills using color theory and shading techniques. Then dive in and select from the exclusive Troll Hunt coloring sheets, which have been created by Arboretum art instructors.  

Reclaimed Keepsake Box Workshop
Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Turn a cigar box into a one-of-a-kind keepsake box using reclaimed materials. Using old photos, vintage maps, newspaper, bits of jewelry, and other salvaged items, you will create a personalized container for storing small items or to display as art. Learn about collage, burnishing, faux finish techniques, types of adhesives, and sealing. These boxes are designed to last. Create a personalized gift for a friend or family member, or make one for yourself.

Bird Portraits: Acrylic on Wood
Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Explore intermediate techniques for painting on wood in acrylic, including staining, blocking, layering, and glazing while rendering detailed portraits of birds in their natural environment. Through demonstrations and guidance from the instructor, students will create their own bird portraits.  

Visiting Artist Series: Botanical Watercolor as More than Mere Illustration with Heeyoung Kim  
Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Join a renowned wildflower painter for a watercolor workshop at The Morton Arboretum. The class will cover tricks and techniques that can instantly elevate the quality of botanical illustration including ideas about composition. Heeyoung Kim documents native plants of Midwestern prairies and woods. Focused on rare and endangered plants, she creates detailed award-winning portrayals of each plant and its life cycle through keen observation and broad research throughout its growing seasons in natural habitats.


Nature Photography

Basic Nature Photography
Thursdays, July 12 through August 2, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Become a nature photographer. Move beyond shooting in automatic by learning how to adjust your camera’s manual settings to get the shot you want. Learn basic composition and editing techniques. Apply your new skills on the grounds of the Arboretum, where there’s no shortage of natural beauty to capture. The course includes classroom instruction, in-field shooting, and a critique session.

Beginning Smartphone Photography
Saturday, July 21, 9 a.m.-noon
Whether you are new to photography or new to smartphones, discover techniques for getting great nature images with your phone. This class will cover the basics of using your phone to capture attractive images, provide tips and tricks, and recommend a selection of good starter apps for basic photo editing.  

Out of the Box: You and Your New Camera
Saturday, July 28, 1-4 p.m.
Learn the basics of how to use your new DSLR camera. Learn the basic features and functions of your camera and have the opportunity to practice under the guidance of your instructor. Gain the confidence you need to begin your journey as a nature photographer.

History Up Close: Photographing Rare Butterflies
Saturday, August 18, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Enjoy special access to the remarkable Denton Collection, a 100-year-old collection of butterflies and moths housed in the archives of the Sterling Morton Library. Due to the collection’s age, these specimens rarely emerge from the archives. Learn about the history of this unique collection and get tips and techniques for shooting macro images. Then enjoy time to experiment under the guidance of your instructor, capturing the exotic colors, patterns, and textures of these fine, historic specimens.


Woodland Stewardship Program
The Woodland Stewardship Program is an in-depth training and certification program in natural areas restoration. Classes are easy to fit into a busy lifestyle, and include online, classroom, and field components. The Woodland Stewardship Program is open to anyone involved or interested in the stewardship of our natural heritage, regardless of prior experience.

Intro to Ecological Restoration - Online and In-person
Online component begins: Friday, July 6
In-person component: Saturdays, July 14 and 21, 9 a.m.-12:30 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 challenge your assumptions and have conversations about ecological restoration. Explore what we mean when we say ecological restoration, discover examples in concept and practice, and discuss the implications of this work. The program will include both online learning modules and in-person discussions. This class can be taken as a component of the Woodland Stewardship Program in natural areas management.

Plants of the Prairie
Thursdays, July 12 through July 26, 6-8 p.m.
Learn the identification skills to manage, restore, or simply enjoy prairie habitats. Prairies in summer are at the peak of their bloom and color, with diverse wildflowers and grasses showing their distinctive beauty. Learn to identify plants important for prairie restoration during the growing season, and practice your identification skills in the field with guidance from a local plant expert. This class can be taken as a component of the Woodland Stewardship Program in natural areas management.

Woodland Stewardship Program Orientation
Thursday, August 2, 6:30-8 p.m. 
Free with Arboretum admission
Join us for a free orientation to the Woodland Stewardship Program in ecological restoration. Get information on how you can volunteer to help make a difference in the woodlands, prairies, and wetlands in your community and at the Arboretum. Learn about the education and volunteer aspects of the training program with the Arboretum’s Woodland Stewardship Program Coordinator.

Wetland Ecology
Wednesday, August 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Saturday, August 4, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Learn the essentials of wetland ecology and the management techniques necessary to maintain threatened wetland ecosystems. Wetlands are critical habitats in the Great Lakes region. Today, these ecosystems are threatened by encroaching development, invasive species, and pollution. Discuss the principles of wetland ecology that inform restoration practice, visit sites that represent different stages of restoration, and explore the management of these systems. This class can be taken as a component of the Woodland Stewardship Program in natural areas management.

Woodland Trees – Online and In-Person
Online component begins: Friday, August 3
In-person component: Friday, August 10 or Saturday, August 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Learn to identify the trees you see every day in the woodlands and neighborhoods of the Chicago region. Explore the ecology of the various tree species and find out why they grow in each habitat.

Natural Areas Management - Online and In-Person
Online component begins: Friday, August 10
In-person component: Sunday, August 19 and Saturday, August 25, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Learn principles and practices for managing critical habitats. Remnant and restored natural areas act as reservoirs for plant, animal, and insect diversity. Join us as we visit a variety of managed ecosystems to discuss current conservation challenges and strategies with site managers and volunteer stewards. This class can be taken as a component of the Woodland Stewardship Program in natural areas management.