February 1, 2022
Celebrating Members at The Morton Arboretum
February marks Member Appreciation Month at the Arboretum. It is an opportunity to thank and celebrate members, as well as a time for members to reflect on what the Arboretum means to them.
Laura Hernandez, a Perennial Partner member for more than 10 consecutive years, says that the perks of membership include a deeper connection with trees and nature that keeps her returning year after year.
“There is a meditative quality to (an Arboretum) walk,” she said. “It’s a very peaceful place, and I love walking there.” Among her favorite spots is the Spruce Plot on the East Side. “It started as a shortcut, but now it is one of my favorites.”
Over the years, Hernandez has fully explored the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres, even visiting daily during some years as part of her training routine. “It is a big place, but feels so much bigger than it is,” she explained, adding, “One of my absolute favorites is Lake Marmo in the spring. Coming down the hill when trees are in full bloom is spectacular. I feel compelled to get that picture every year.”
Hernandez’s advice to new members? “Explore and find your happy places,” she said. “Things change so much year after year, walk after walk. There are so many different ways to see the Arboretum. I would suggest getting off the main path. Go deep and explore.”
Hernandez is one of nearly 61,000 Morton Arboretum member households, a historic high reached in 2021. Every membership supports the Arboretum’s vital work to plant and protect trees for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world.
During the month-long celebration, Arboretum members enjoy special benefits, including:
- Free admission for guests accompanying an Arboretum member
- A 10% discount in the Gingko Café and Restaurant (Friend level and higher receive a 15% discount)
- An additional 5% savings (on top of the regular 10% discount) in The Arboretum Store every Tuesday in February
- A free gift at the Member Service Desk during our We Love Our Members Valentine’s Week celebration, February 14 – 20
- Access to the Friends and Family membership promotion (stop by the Member Services desk in the Visitor Center with a friend or family member for details about this program)
- Exclusive access to the Chocolate Weekend Member Preview Night
Member Appreciation Month is a great time to join. More information is available and you can join online or call 630-719-2453 for assistance.