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Adult Opportunities

Lawn-Free Garden Design Workshop

Take the leap toward a lawn-free yard.

Content Detail

Lawns are labor- and resource-intensive. Learn ways to reduce the amount of lawn in your home landscape and replace it with an attractive, more sustainable design that meets your goals. Whether you’re looking for less mowing and maintenance, reducing chemical use, achieving a more informal look, or enriching habitat for wildlife, The Morton Arboretum’s landscape architect, Susan Jacobsen, will share inspiring examples and a step-by-step guide to getting started on your lawn-free garden, including:

  • creating a design
  • how to remove turf and replace it with plantings, mulch, and hardscaping
  • budgeting, working with contractors, and where to save by doing it yourself.

Work one-on-one with a professional landscape architect and go home with a custom design sketch and a plan for making your changes. Learn what it means to lose the lawn and go “green” in a whole new way.

This program meets in person at The Morton Arboretum.

Instructor: Susan Jacobsen, FASLA, PLA, landscape architect and head of site planning and design, The Morton Arboretum

Age: 16 and older


Susan Jacobsen, FASLA, PLA

Susan Jacobsen is the landscape architect and head of site planning and design for The Morton Arboretum. With forty years of experience as a landscape architect in the Chicago area, she has worked in both private and public practice. She holds a BLA from the University of Illinois and is a licensed landscape architect. As a full member in the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) since 1982, she was elected Fellow in 1995 and received the President’s Medal in 2017. Jacobsen has served as the president of the Illinois Chapter and the National ASLA, and she is still active on the National ASLA Honors and Awards and the Constitution and Bylaws committees. She also received the University of Illinois Department of Landscape Architecture Alumni Medal in 2019 for outstanding support of the department and the profession.

What to Know

Held indoors.

Bring a plat of survey and photos of the area of your lawn you would like to work on.


Program Schedule

Three Thursdays, February 9, 16, and 23, 2023

9:30 a.m. to noon

Cudahy Room, Administration and Research Center



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