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Sustainability at the Arboretum

Since its founding in 1922, The Morton Arboretum has demonstrated sustainable practices to benefit the community. As an outdoor museum, the Arboretum showcases trees as essential to sustaining healthy environments and communities. Science and conservation efforts at the Arboretum strive to preserve native plant species, manage invasive species, and improve tree care and preservation within urban forests.

The Morton Arboretum is a member of the Green Power Partnership, an Environmental Protection Agency project that allows participants to support "green energy." As part of our electricity purchases, the Arboretum buys renewable energy certificates, which help support the development and use of wind power.

The Meadow Lake restoration project and the Main Parking Lot project at The Morton Arboretum has become one of eight pilot projects newly certified by the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) for its sustainable site design, construction, and maintenance. They join three other projects that received certification in January 2012.

The Arboretum also pilot tests new commercial products designed to protect trees and the environment.

Visitor Center Parking Lot

The Morton Arboretum’s Visitor Center parking lot is paving the way to a cleaner environment. The parking lot catches and recharges water that ends up in Meadow Lake. This filtration system safeguards the lake's ecosystem (plants, fish, birds, and amphibians) by keeping the water quality as high as possible.

The environmentally progressive design uses interlocking, permeable paving blocks with gaps at the corners filled with fine gravel. The permeable blocks and gravel act as a filtration system for rainwater and melting snow so that pollutants can be removed or broken down before runoff reaches other water sources.

For more information about the design of the Visitor Center parking lot download Main Parking Lot: Paving the Way to a Cleaner Environment. PDF iconMain Parking Lot (PDF)