The quarterly donor newsletter of the Morton Arboretum

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A Second Century Campaign 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 Campaign.

The Arboretum will offer a variety of special events and educational programs throughout 2022 to launch the priority fundraising initiatives of the campaign: 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 a foundation match. For more information, see the Arboretum’s centennial 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 web page.

At the same time,  the Arboretum is committing to planting more than one 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 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. To learn more about the Centennial Tree Planting Initiative, see its web page. 

In the spirit of Joy Morton’s philanthropic legacy, another way to be a part of the Second Century Campaign is to document a planned gift and become a member of the 1922 Society (formerly known as the Arborvitae Society). By including the Arboretum in your will or other estate plans, you generously ensure that the Arboretum’s mission and programs will continue for generations to come. Learn more here about documenting a planned gift.

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