Wonder Pond and More Updates at The Morton Arboretum

Within the four acres of The Morton Arboretum’s award-winning Children’s Garden lies Wonder Pond, a place where kids can explore an underwater world teeming with life and learn about the relationship between trees, plants, and water. This May, you and your kids can have an enhanced Wonder Pond experience and enjoy other renovations as the Arboretum introduces improvements to the garden!

Wonder Pond rendering of improvements

At Wonder Pond, a new 360-degree walkway at the popular feature circles the water’s edge, offering better accessibility and expanded viewing space. New custom log benches provide more seating.

Also recently refurbished is the garden’s support building, which was modified to accommodate program management needs of staff and volunteers who help develop the next generation of environmental stewards through exploration, learning, and play in the tree-focused garden.

Improvements to Wonder Pond and the support building are funded by The Morton Arboretum’s five-year, $63 million Growing Brilliantly capital campaign.

Another improvement in the Children’s Garden is the Picnic Pavilion, a shaded spot for family gatherings and birthday parties, sheltered by a new leaf-shaped roof.

“From a more accessible and engaging Wonder Pond to the beautifully-shaded Picnic Pavilion, the Children’s Garden enhancements will delight children and their families who come to explore, make memories, and develop a love of trees and the natural world,” said Sue Wagner, vice president of education and information at The Morton Arboretum.

Wonder Pond before improvements

A Splashy Celebration in the Children’s Garden  – Saturday, May 19

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In celebration of these new enhancements, the Arboretum is hosting A Splashy Celebration in the Children’s Garden on Saturday, May 19. The frog-themed open house will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature live music from top children’s performers Miss Jamie’s Farm and Duke Otherwise as well as story times featuring characters from the “Frog and Toad” books by Arnold Lobel. Additionally, families can take part in frog-inspired activities and crafts. While there, families can search the shallow waters for American toad tadpoles that visit the space every spring. The event is free with Arboretum admission.

Welcoming 325,000 children and adults every year, the Children’s Garden has become a favorite of visitors since opening in 2005. The Children’s Garden includes two main sections: Backyard Discovery Gardens and Adventure Woods, linked by the Central Plaza. In the three areas are ten themed gardens, each with engaging and interactive activities that encourage a connection to trees and the natural environment.

In addition to the Children’s Garden enhancements, funds raised through the campaign have supported critical tree-focused initiatives, including the Arboretum’s tree conservation and New Plant Development programs and the launch of the Center for Tree Science, as well as the construction of a new curatorial and operations center, vehicle support building, and expanded plant production facilities.

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You also might be interested in this past article…

The Tadpoles Have Hatched! A Visit To The Morton Arboretum
round mid-May, tadpoles hatch at Wonder Pond, which adds to the excitement there. You can read more at the article link above. It’s usually best to go around two weeks after they hatch so your kids can see the tadpole stage. Also, the during the weeks following, you can see the legs developing! It’s pretty cool.

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie and her kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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