Chicago Botanic Garden (Glencoe, IL)


  • Name:Melissa Matterson

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Address:1000 Lake Cook Road
    Glencoe, IL 60022
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:847-835-6882

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • The Chicago Botanic Garden’s mission is to cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. All life depends on plants. Clean air, clean water, food, shelter, clothing, and, traditionally, medicine—all of these resources, too often taken for granted, rely on plants. These fundamental facts motivate the Garden’s mission and its many activities that respond to issues affecting people close to home and around the world.

  • Overview:
  • The Chicago Botanic Garden’s 385 acres house a living collection of more than 2.6 million plants in 26 exhibition gardens and four natural areas. Within a unique island infrastructure that supports both terrestrial and aquatic plants, this scientific collection is aesthetically displayed in gardens that represent the best in landscape design. The Garden captivates and inspires more than one million people annually, providing them the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor experience in a safe and educationally rich environment that offers positive emotional and physical benefits.

    Some visitors are most interested in the Garden’s popular annual events, such as the Antiques & Garden Fair and Wonderland Express, and seasonal exhibitions like Butterflies & Blooms. Others are among the growing numbers attending our Summer Evenings music programs. Still more come for wellness programs or to enjoy the beauty of the Garden, inside and out. Last year, nearly 5,000 adults took at least one class—and often more—from the hundreds offered through the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

    The Garden is one of the few botanic gardens in the country to offer education programs serving pre-kindergarten through Ph.D. students and beyond. Classes, workshops, lectures, camps, conferences, symposia, and educational programs offered through the Regenstein School serve more than 90,000 annual participants with activities held in all corners of the Garden and throughout Chicago. These programs address 21st century issues regarding the environment, hunger, jobs, health, and healing. Always innovating, the Garden recently became the first botanic garden in the country to hold a virtual field trip through Google’s Connected Classrooms program.

    Since the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center opened in 2009, the Garden’s research and conservation programs have expanded, allowing the Garden to pursue groundbreaking multiyear research projects funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), among other organizations. Last year the Garden received its largest NSF grant to date: more than $1.5 million over five years to study how scent-mediated interactions between flowering plants, pollinators, and floral enemies affect diversification at the population, species, and higher taxonomic levels. Today, more than 200 Garden scientists, graduate students, and interns conduct plant-based research in our backyard, within the U.S., and throughout the world.

    The Garden’s science division is also preparing the next generation of plant scientists, land managers, and environmental stewards. Last year, through the United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Conservation Land Management internship program and within its Science Career Continuum, the Garden trained and placed nearly 100 recent college graduates in five-month positions to assist professional staff at BLM, Forest Service, and National Park Service sites in 15 western states. At the same time, the Garden’s joint Plant Biology and Conservation program with Northwestern University welcomed six new master’s and two new doctoral students; the program currently has 24 M.S. and 11 Ph.D. students. Participants in the graduate program—also part of the Continuum—were awarded 24 research grants and fellowships in 2013, and the program’s rising reputation led to a 37 percent increase in Ph.D. applications over 2012.

    Uniting the Garden's science and education divisions is the Science Career Continuum, a graduated program of college readiness and career preparation that provides a pathway to academic advancement for Chicago Public School (CPS) students. The program targets African Americans and Latinos, traditionally under-represented in the sciences, as well as low-income students who are often the first in their families to earn a bachelor's degree. Working with Garden professionals and older peers who mentor them, students use the Garden's 385 acres and the Plant Science Center as an expansive learning laboratory. In the process, young people are introduced to college degree programs and career paths in ecology, botany, biology, horticulture, engineering, and teaching.

  • History:
  • The Chicago Botanic Garden traces its origins back to the Chicago Horticultural Society, founded in 1890. With the motto Urbs in Horto, meaning "city in a garden," the Society hosted nationally recognized flower and horticultural shows, its third the World's Columbian Exposition Chrysanthemum Show, held in conjunction with the world's fair in October 1893. In 1962, its modern history began when the Society agreed to help create and manage a new public garden. With the groundbreaking for the Chicago Botanic Garden in 1965 and its opening in 1972, the Society created a permanent site on which to carry out its mission. The Garden today is an example of a successful public-private partnership. It is owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and operated by the Chicago Horticultural Society.

    Over the past 40 years of education service, the Chicago Botanic Garden has developed several educational innovations from “proof of concept” to national best- practice models. The depth and quality of the Garden's education and community programs have helped build its national reputation as an outstanding teaching garden and earn the 2004 National Award for Museum Services from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Hallmark programs developed by the Garden’s educators include the following:

    • Guided school-group classes based on national science standards that teach plant science and natural area ecology;
    • Teacher training institutes in collaboration with National Science Foundation-funded university programs;
    • Windy City Harvest, a plant-based jobs training and mentorship program that has changed thousands of lives. The WCH Youth Farm were awarded one of six national best-practice citations by the Institute of Museum and Library Services;
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)-funded and -endorsed interdisciplinary national climate-change curriculum for Grades 5 to 12, scheduled for release in fall 2013;
    • Content-rich summer day camps accredited by the American Camping Association for ages 2 to 12, taught by experts.

    Of the Garden’s many educational achievements, the evolution of the Science Career Continuum has been especially energizing. The Continuum was born out of College First, a program launched in 1994 that included an eight-week summer internship in “green jobs” and college enrollment preparation for juniors and seniors from three Chicago public high schools. While the program was successful, engaging students more concretely in science at an earlier age became a priority, as such interests are often fomented prior to high school. In 2002 staff launched Science First, a four-week environmental education curriculum grounded in active learning for eighth through tenth graders. This program’s success spurred the inclusion of course study for College First, in addition to the internship.

    As Garden educators were developing these teen programs, conservation scientists were expanding higher education opportunities, including summer internships for undergraduates and graduates and, most recently, master's and PhD programs in Plant Biology and Conservation. It proved a welcome convergence. In 2010 with federal funding, staff realized a new dream by linking these youth education programs with the Garden’s growing plant science research division and including Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) internships. The newly branded Science Career Continuum has evolved into a continuum of intensive science education opportunities for students in grades 8 through 12 and beyond.

    Today, the Science Career Continuum is about much more than academic enrichment. The establishment of a scientific community of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991) supports students from under-represented groups through collaborative, socially inclusive experiences in nature, parent support and education, social networking and digital science portfolios, and peer-to-peer mentorship. New Science First students learn content and community norms and practices from returning students, while College First students act as mentors for the older Science First students. The mentoring component continues as the College First students work side-by-side with college undergraduates, graduate students, and PhD scientists. This stair-step approach helps students understand and aspire to the next phase in the education continuum.

  • Year established:1972
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:68
  • Advisory board size:8
  • Staff size:730


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:36-2225482

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:362225482
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:% THOMAS J NISSLY
  • Organization Address:1000 LAKE COOK RD
  • Organization City:GLENCOE
  • Organization State:IL
  • Organization Zip:60022-1168
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):2
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Educational Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:January, 1949
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):356
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Garden club
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:C410
  • Asset Amount:$242,961,269
  • Asset Code:9 ($50,000,000+)
  • Income Amount:$81,135,301
  • Income Code:9 ($50,000,000+)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$50,149,476
  • Last Updated:2/17/2018 5:29:32 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.