World Environment Day Features Fun, Interactive and Enriching Programs, June 4

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Visitors of all ages will learn about the importance of protecting and preserving plants through awareness and action from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 4.

Ecologist Jim Steffen leads a tour of the 100-acre native oak woodland, McDonald Woods.

"Trees are wonderful arenas for discovery because of their tall stature, their complex structure, the biodiversity they foster and their quiet beauty," said Nalini Nadkarni, Ph.D.

The Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates the United Nations World Environment Programme’s (UNEP) World Environment Day on June 4. Several activities and two major lectures highlight UNEP’s 2011 International Year of Forests theme.

The schedule includes:

  •     9 a.m.: An informal opening of the Trellis Bridge and dedication of the Bernice E. Lavin Evaluation Garden. Trams will shuttle visitors to the dedication beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the ribbon cutting and refreshments begin at 9 a.m.
  •     9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Plant Container Recycling Program, offering a rare opportunity to recycle plastic pots, containers, cell packs and trays. Please knock the soil and debris out of your pots and sort them by size prior to dropping them off at the collection location in Parking Lot 4.
  •     10:30 a.m.: National Geographic Live keynote speaker, Nalini Nadkarni, Ph.D., will speak about her tree canopy research in the Alsdorf Auditorium. Lecture fee applies. Cost is $12 for one lecture; Chicago Botanic Garden members pay $10. Cost for both lectures is $17; Chicago Botanic Garden members pay $15.
  •     11 and 2 p.m.: Tours of the newly dedicated Bernice E. Lavin Evaluation Garden
  •     11:30 and 2:30 p.m.: Special family tours of McDonald Woods.
  •     11:30 and 12:30 p.m.: Horticulture tour on the best trees and shrubs for the Chicago area.
  •     11:30 and 2:30 p.m.: Natural area tour of the Dixon Prairie.
  •     Noon to 4 p.m.: Special Talks in the Seminar Room of the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center. The schedule includes “Jackfruit Anyone? Unusual Foods and Why They Are Important” at noon, “Mushrooms: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful” at 1 p.m., “Plants of Concern: Citizen Scientists Make a Difference for Endangered Species” at 2 p.m., and “Plant Paleontology: A Window into Environments of the Past” at 3 p.m.
  •     12:30 and 3:30 p.m.: Natural area tour of McDonald Woods.
  •     1:30 and 2:30 p.m.: Cleetus Friedman of City Provisions in Chicago cooking demonstration as part of the Garden Chef Series in the open-air kitchen amphitheatre.
  •     1:30 p.m. Natural area tour of the Lakeshore.
  •     2 p.m.: Keynote speaker Michael Potts, President and CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, will speak about transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Lecture fee applies. Cost is $12 for one lecture; Chicago Botanic Garden members pay $10. Cost for both lectures is $17; Chicago Botanic Garden members pay $15.
  •     2 and 3 p.m.: Horticulture tour on growing vegetables organically.

Support for World Environment Day has been provided by Baxter, Illinois Tool Works, PwC and Underwriters Laboratories. Admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden and World Environment Day is free. Parking is $20 per car; free for Garden members.

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