The quarterly donor newsletter of The Morton Arboretum

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A Second Century Challenge for the Arboretum’s Next 100 Years

The centennial of The Morton Arboretum in 2022 will be a significant milestone, celebrating the first 100 years of its tree-focused mission and accomplishments while building excitement and support for its second century.

Since 1922, beginning with founder Joy Morton’s vision and legacy, the Arboretum has helped trees and people by studying, planting, and protecting trees, educating people of all ages, and welcoming millions of guests to its living tree and plant collections. Now, it is building support for the future with the Second Century Challenge and a generous $1 million matching gift challenge provided by the Hamill Family Foundation.

In addition to offering a variety of special events and educational programs throughout 2022, the Arboretum has launched an opportunity to maximize fundraising for the priority initiatives of the Second Century Challenge: The Grand Garden, the Centennial Tree Planting Initiative, essential increases in annual support, and new legacy planned gift commitments. With the generous support of the Hamill Family Foundation, gifts made to support these priorities will be eligible for either a 1 to 1 or 2 to 1 foundation match. For more information and to make a gift, see the Arboretum’s Second Century Challenge webpage.

The Arboretum is still growing strong at a time when people need trees more than ever before. Work is underway on a beautiful new garden that will become a centerpiece of the Arboretum. The garden will be a splendid, must-see destination for guests as they move into the landscape from the Visitor Center. It is designed to provide beauty and rich experiences, colorful plantings, delightful water features, and a place for celebration and joy in a gorgeous outdoor landscape garden. To learn more about The Grand Garden or to make a gift, see the garden’s webpage.

At the same time, the Arboretum has committed to planting more than a thousand trees throughout the seven-county Chicago region in areas where they are needed most. The Centennial Tree Planting Initiative will provide trees to improve the urban forest of the region and bring a multitude of benefits to people and the environment: cleaner air, energy savings, stormwater management, increased shade, improved mental health, greater support for wildlife and natural ecosystems, and more sheer beauty. Learn more here about the Centennial Tree Planting Initiative.

In the spirit of Joy Morton’s philanthropic legacy, another way to be a part of the Second Century Challenge is to include the Arboretum in your will or other estate plans. By doing so, you generously ensure that the Arboretum’s mission and programs will continue for generations to come. Learn more about documenting a planned gift.

If you have questions or would like to make a gift to support any of the 2022 Second Century Challenge initiatives, feel free to contact Sarah Tobeck, director of giving societies, at