Morton Arboretum Unveils The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden

September 21, 2022
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The Morton Arboretum hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony last Friday for The Grand Garden. The area was named after president and CEO of the Morton Arboretum, Gerard T. Donnelly, who recently announced his retirement.

“I know this garden will be a place for you all, for our members and for our visitors,” said Donnelly. “We imagine future generations to find joy and celebration among the beautiful plants and garden spaces that are here.”

The Grand Garden layout features three main areas: the Celebration Garden, the Centennial Plaza and the Joy of Plants Garden. The lush, new space honors and reimagines the historic Hedge Garden that was created in 1934. 

The $16.6 million project was established to celebrate the Arboretum’s centennial year. The year-long celebration of the Arboretum’s 100th anniversary also includes the Centennial Tree Planting Initiative, which plans to add more than 3,000 trees throughout the Chicagoland area through 2023.

The project was funded by Morton Arboretum donors and an endowment for its ongoing maintenance. The Gerard T. Donnelly Grand Garden is the newest addition to the 1,700 acres of landscapes, gardens and tree collections at the Arboretum. 

The garden opened to the general public this past Sunday. 

Naperville News 17’s Will Payne reports.

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