Realizing the Dream — Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Learning Campus Perfect for All Four Generations of My Family

I love, love, love the Chicago Botanic Garden. For three decades it has been my favorite destination for a family outing, bicycle ride, walk with a friend, music under the stars, meditative moments and more. I enjoyed playing in the Rose Garden fountain just as much as my kids did. Then somehow (and much too quickly) I found myself hosting wedding events there for two of them. And of course, my mom and I look for every opportunity possible to visit CBG together too.

I also love that CBG has grown to provide values that are even more important and enduring than beauty and pleasure — particularly their world-class conservation, research and education. We need this more than ever in order to understand and act on the environmental imperatives that our children and grandchildren face.

We’ve proudly supported the development of research centers and university partnerships at CBG that make it possible for adults to earn degrees there and youth to learn about nature and agriculture at the main campus and other sites across Chicagoland. But I’m most excited by the opening of the Regenstein Learning Campus this weekend.

With this meticulously designed, light-filled, child friendly space that even includes a “Nature Preschool,” the next generation can be immersed in the importance and delight of an environmental education. I caught a sneak peak of it last night at the ribbon cutting and can’t wait to take my grandchildren there as soon as possible — to learn, play, delight together.


Board Chair Bob Finke, Susan Regenstein and Jean Franczyk


Nature preschool classroom


Kids in the nature preschool




Bob Finke, Susan B. Noyes, Jean Franczyk and Francee Harrington

Photos courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden. 


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