Ten Public Gardens Everyone Must Visit in the Chicagoland Area

Illinois was home to the Tallgrass Prairie where it consisted of various beautiful plants, including tall grasses and wildflowers. It had its own sense of smell and sound when the wind passed through the land. However, when European settlers moved along the west, they could not bear to live with the biting insects, possible fires, and the lack of trees.

In 1837, John Deere came up with a steel-bladed plow where it had the capability to chop off the plants in seconds. Instead of having the 22 million acres of prairie, Illinois has now has the remaining 2,000 acres.

Despite the loss of one Illinois’ greatest feature, the Chicagoland area has put together unique gardens where everyone can have a taste of Mother Nature.  The map below lists the top ten public gardens near the Chicago area as determined by Choose Chicago, an organization that drives to bring visitors to Chicago for a better economy.

List of the Top Ten Public Gardens near Chicago:

The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool takes people into another world just by the sight of the amazing waters and insects beautifully buzzing around it. This park was home to various lilies and plants, but it slowly began to lose its shape as years went by. However, by 2002 restoration of this site was completed and allowed visitors to feel the crisp air and enjoy with family and friends.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Home to one of the most well known attraction near Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Garden features 29 garden and natural areas, from the Japanese Garden to the Waterfall Garden. General admission is totally free for those who love to enjoy the diversity of plants and exhibits.

Garfield Park Conservatory

This conservatory in Chicago is known as “landscape under glass”. The unique architecture was created by Jens Jensen; it features a Desert Garden, and a Palm House which is home to 70 palm trees. If someone is planning on visiting the city, they must stop by to this beautiful area!

Grant Park Rose Garden

Right next to one of Chicago’s well-known landmark, the Buckingham Fountain, the Grant Park Rose Garden displays a rose bed with some of the most amazing colors. The wonderful breeze from Lake Michigan allows every visitor to enjoy the walkway and absorb pleasant scent from the vibrant flowers.

Lincoln Park Conservancy

A similar architectural design to the Garfield Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Conservancy features a Victorian style glass house which consists of exotic plants from around the world. As a tribute to our 16th president, the garden also features a 12 foot bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln that was placed in 1887.

Lurie Garden

This beautiful piece of area is right next Chicago’s very own Millennium Park! After visiting the Cloud Gate and the Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden will present various flowers and plants that will make one feel like they are in the countryside. This area is famously known as the “Urbs in Horto” or the City in a Garden.

North Pond Nature Sanctuary

The Lincoln Park Conservancy assists conserving a garden with a lovely pond, known as the North Pond Nature Sanctuary. This pond is home to a number of diverse plants and animals. In fact, there are over 150 plant species and more than 200 bird species. This place is mesmerizing for those who love to enjoy a combination of unique plants and animals.

Osaka Garden

The Garden of Phoenix located in Jackson Park features a garden called the Osaka Garden. The garden has a touch of Japanese culture that displays more than 120 Cherry Blossom Trees when in season. Fun fact: The Osaka Garden was actually a gift from Japan to Chicago as a symbol of friendship with the United States.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

This nature museum is a wonderful place for kids to interact with nature around them, like the Animal House and the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. The distinctive architectural design not only features a variety of plants and animals, but also provides a learning experience for kids who are mesmerized with the science of nature.

The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum is a breathtaking place where one gets to view the different trees and go on nature walks. Not only will it give a one-on-one connection with the beautiful land, but exciting activities are established for anyone who would like to participate, such as the newest 2018 activity, the Hunt for Trolls.


Google Trends: iPhone, Nike, Hurricane Florence, and Kavanaugh’s Allegation

The iPhone Remains The Public’s Popular Choice 

When it came down to one of the most popular companies in the world, Apple’s iPhone won many hearts. On the other hand, Nike did get the public searching for them, but it was not because of their products.

Nike grabbed the attention of many fans when they featured NFL star Colin Kaepernick in their commercial. Kaepernick was known as the first NFL player to sit out on the National Anthem in 2016. This led Kaepernick facing a backlash from President Trump when he expressed how the player should have been suspended for his action.

In the commercial, Kaepernick responded to all criticism by saying, “It’s only crazy until you do it. Just do it”.

Thus, the analysis of Google displayed how many individuals searched up the commercial which created a big spike on Google Trends in September. Nike’s support of Kaepernick’s expression of the second amendment led some to burn and destroy their Nike sportswear. Kaepernick’s news feed slowly died down after his kneel, but this sparked it back up in September.

Throughout the months of 2018, the iPhone was on the public’s mind as to what Apple has in store for them. Many were curious and finding out ways how this iPhone was different compared to previous models.

However, when it came to searching up the new iPhone on Google Trends it completely dominated over Nike. Throughout 2018, the iPhone stayed as a popular search due to rumors of it presenting three brand new iPhones. Once it got in the middle of September, the iPhone became the dictator by releasing the new iPhones: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

Therefore, the searching the iPhone remained and was the popular choice among those who started to search it up online, compared to Kaepernick’s collaboration with Nike.

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Quinn: MAP grants critical for low-income students

Pat Quinn photo
Gov. Pat Quinn talks about MAP grants at DePaul University. (Photo by Josclynn Brandon)

By Bob Smith

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said.

“We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”

MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

Continue reading “Quinn: MAP grants critical for low-income students”