Morton Arboretum

CHICAGO REGION TREES INITIATIVE The Arboretum also works directly with local communities through the Chicago Region Trees Initiative to educate and advise on planning, planting and the importance of tree diversity. Recently their research on tree species and soil helped them partner with the Illinois Tollway Authority to determine which trees will best survive with the salt used on winter roadways. Their findings are currently applied throughout Illinois roadways.

Morton Arboretum is more than a pretty place, it’s an out- door living museum. Originally purchased in 1922 as the country estate of Mr. Joy Morton, founder of the Morton Salt company, the 1,700 acres that make up the Arboretum was left as a land trust, with the mission of creating a “greener, healthier, more beautiful world.” Today, Morton Arboretum exists not only as a gorgeous natural place with several lakes and 16 miles of trails, but as a living laboratory, housing more than 4,000 species of trees from 40 countries. Following are a couple of examples of how their extensive work is protecting the trees of the world.

GLOBAL TREE CONSERVATION PROGRAM Among the trees in Morton Arboretum’s collection are three of the rarest species in the world: the Fraser fir, the Paperbark maple and the Georgia oak. Scientists and researchers work tirelessly as a part of the Global Tree Conservation Program to protect these tree species and others by promoting genetic diversity, assessing threats, plant propagation, seed collection and distribution, and strengthening the global network of tree experts. With 10% of the world’s trees in danger of extinction, the work being done by the Global Tree Conservation Program is vital for their survival.

ACCOLADE ELM While the Global Tree Conservation Program is, by definition, an international initiative, Morton Arboretum is spearheading several national and even local initiatives to pro tect and conserve trees. “When the Dutch elm disease started killing thousands upon thousands of trees, we developed a new species called the Accolade elm that was resistant to the disease,” notes Jennifer GoodSmith, vice president of marketing and communications. “Hundreds of thousands are now sold and planted each year.”

KEEPING DUPAGE COUNTY GREEN The Arboretum itself is beautiful and serene, but the main goal is to educate its visitors to care for and appreciate the environment. From the four-acre award-winning Children’s Garden to the wide variety of year-round events, Morton Arboretum engages and inspires all ages to become champions of trees every day of the year.

The importance of education is a common theme found within these esteemed scientific institutions. Whether learning about the APS at Argonne, attending a lecture at Fermilab, feeding a giraffe at Brookfield Zoo, or simply sitting in the shade of a tall oak at Morton Arboretum, it is safe to say that, in DuPage, science is all around you.


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