Friday, April 22nd, is Earth Day – a holiday focused on the environment, the ecology, and sustainability. If you are looking to celebrate the planet, there is no better place than the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBT) near Catalyst Apartments.
The CBT will be hosting a special walk of its McDonald Woods on Saturday, April 23rd. Visitors will learn about seasonal plants and the restoration work going on at the CBT. The walk will last about an hour and begins at 1 p.m.
McDonald Woods is a 100-acre preserve within the CBT, an unspoiled remainder of a larger oak woodland that grew before the arrival of Euroamerican settlers. Currently, the Woods hosts a number of threatened plant species, including northern cranesbill, forked aster, dwarf raspberry, bent-seeded hop sedge, brome hummock sedge, small sundrops, and dog violet.
The CBT is home to a number of gardens and dedicated areas with a special focus. After seeing McDonald Woods, for example, visitors might choose to visit the hillside English Oak Meadow, where bright flowers and hardy shrubs bloom among the oak trees.
Or, meditate at the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden, a 17-acre area at the side of a lake. In fact, the Japanese Garden includes two islands, Seifuto (Island of Clear, Pure Breezes) and Keiunto (Island of the Auspicious Cloud). There is a third island, but it is not open to the public. The Japanese Garden includes an arched bridge and a zigzag bridge, along with pine trees and stone lanterns.
A complete list of gardens can be seen here.
The CBT is open every day at 8 a.m. In keeping with its ecological consciousness, it closes at sundown in the evening – whether sundown comes at 5 p.m. or 8 p.m.
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