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Chicago Botanic Garden Opens Learning Center

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Chicago Botanic Garden Regenstein Vegetable Garden

This summer I had the privilege of touring the amazing gardens at Chicago Botanic Garden. One of my favorite employees who toured with me is the talented Lisa Hilgenberg, the horticulturist for the Regenstein Fruit and Vegetable Garden. She’s tough to capture on film because she is always moving in the garden – a woman after my own heart – this time she was adjusting the cucumber vines in the vegetable beds (below). Lisa and her staff lovingly tend the fruit and vegetable gardens, building a beautiful display for visitors so that they can learn more about gardening.

Chicago Botanic Lisa Hilgenberg
Chicago Botanic Garden Regenstine Fruit and Vegetable Garden
Chicago Botanic Garden Regenstein Center Construction

A highlight of the visit was experiencing the Regenstein Learning Campus while it was still under construction (below). It’s a new seven-acre study facility for plant-based learning activities. Each room within the facility is all sustainable – lighted with natural light whenever possible and the facility has many special energy-saving features. My favorite new feature of the landscape surrounding the facility is a large area that has rolling grassy hills that kids can play on and performers can entertain on – truly fun for little legs to climb. The hills were sodded around the time we toured and were being sprinkled to help them establish (below). The grand opening is this weekend — Saturday, September 10, and Sunday, September 11. From 10 am to 4 pm on these days, visitors can engage in mini-classes showcasing what the Garden’s education programs have to offer.

Chicago Botanic Garden Regenstein Center Rolling Hills
Chicago Botanic Garden Regenstein Center Hill

If you want to learn more about health and wellness, inter-generational learning, art, tai chi, yoga, photography, and all kinds of hands-on coursework, visit the Regenstein Learning Campus at the Chicago Botanic Garden this weekend (photo credit above and below via CBG). Visitors can check out classes and meet the staff. Register for full classes at opening weekend and receive an additional 10 percent discount. Visitors will also get to explore the new campus and its gardens, hear live music, and participate in a scavenger hunt. Entertainment will feature a variety of music for and by children and adults. Windy City Harvest, the Garden’s urban agriculture program, will have a farm stand with fresh produce. Visit for more information.

Rolling HIlls DSC_9052 (002)

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing about this amazing botanic gardens. I like the ideas of hills for kids to walk. My kids will love it. Will come visit it one day.
    Shari Jennings

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