Vote for Taltree Arboretum and Gardens as 2010's Secret Corner of Chicago

Great public spaces are the front porches of our community. Place Making Chicago asks the public to nominate and vote for their Secret Corner Chicago. This year Taltree Arboretum and Garden's name was thrown in the hat.

I am one of Taltree's newest employees. Before applying for the position of horticulturist, I had never heard of Taltree and I've lived in the Chicagoland area ...twice! Granted, Taltree was recently founded in 1998, and it is actually in the North West corner of Indiana, but still! This corner shouldn't be a secret and here's why:

Five Reasons You Should Vote for
Taltree Arboretum and Gardens as
2010’s Secret Corner of Chicago

1.  Dogs Welcome
How many public gardens and arboreta allow dogs, seriously?  Where are dogs allowed? Dog parks full of other dogs with nary a tree in site.  At Taltree there are miles of trails that you and your happy puppy can explore. There is even a special doggie event, Taltree Tails, coming up on October 3rd that celebrates our four legged friends and their owners.  Plus it benefits North West Indiana animal welfare organizations.

2.  Blue Birds in the Prairie
The Blue Bird Trail at Taltree has 24 nesting boxes and last year 52 blue birds chicks hatched and fledged.  The best time to see them nesting is June, July and August. The prairie itself a site to behold with beautiful swaths of color from bee-balm, golden rod and aster flowers in a sea of undulating tall grass.  I always feel restored after a hike at Taltree.

3. Special Events
Taltree rents its facilities for weddings and hosts many community events such as Art in the Garden, Taltree Tails, and Family Fun Day, as well as the Music in Nature Summer Concert Series. Still to come this summer are Duke Tomato and the Power Trip (rockin' blues), The Crawpuppies (50's swing) and the AcoustiCats (classic rock mix).   Check out the events calendar here.

4. Fall Color
What better place to enjoy fall color than an arboretum? The red oak and yellow hickory put on quite a show. Wouldn't a picnic be lovely on the edge of Heron Pond?  You bring the cheese and I'll bring the crusty baguette.  I expect the fall color will be best at the end of September beginning of October. 

5. Educational Opportunities
One of Taltree’s founding missions is education. Think of the arboretum, wet lands, prairie and woods as a huge outdoor classroom.  Schools are invited to bring their students to experience nature. Trained docents lead hikes and engage children in games centered on wildlife biology. Taltree also offers a wide variety of adult classes and workshops. Check out upcoming classes here.

Was I right? Taltree is definitely a place for the community to gather; all 300 plus acres of it.  You should vote for it.

Voting closes on September 9th. We don't have much time left and we are currently in third place!  Follow this link to vote for Taltree as the Secret Corner of Chicago Winner.


  1. Wow, this place looks gorgeous! I've lived in Chicago for 6 years and have never heard of it before, so thanks for sharing. I travel between Chicago and Ohio a few times each year, and this seems like a great place to stop en route.

  2. Looks like a great place! I have a friend who works in Chicago during the week (and comes home to Charlotte during the weekend), I will mention this to him so that he can take us and his family when we visit!

    Wish my office looked like that or at least had a view of similar place!