Tree lovers converge and unite at the Morton Arboretum. This lovely haven away from the city is located just 25 miles west of Chicago, on Route 53 in Lisle, IL and open 365 days of the year, from 7am until sunset. All four seasons sing their glory in this 1700 acre park from budding blooms in early spring to leaves in verdant green in summer and from autumn’s royal raiment to snow covered naked limbs in winter.
The Arboretum was founded by Joy Morton of the Morton Salt Company in 1922. Morton’s father Julius Sterling Morton was the founder of Arbor Day. This park’s collection is one the most comprehensive in North America and includes over 222,000 plants from 40 countries representing about 4300 taxa. These collections are arranged in five groups: taxonomic, geographic, special habitat, horticultural, and rare and endangered species.[flickr id=”8146424048″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
There are many walking trails, including: the Joy Path, the Daffodil Glade, and the Prairie Trail. The Schulenberg Prairie contains over 500 plant species and is one of the largest restored prairies in Illinois. There are nine miles of paved roads for those who prefer a scenic drive, and the roads are also open to bicycles.
The Arboretum offers classes in horticulture and ornithology and also offers a few certificate programs. This park serves in support of the Global Trees Campaign in an effort to save endangered trees around the world. Click here for info about entry fees and directions to the park.