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Photo of boy in 'Big Bugs' exhibit
Nathan Besser enjoys the "Big Bugs" exhibit, June 1998

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Chicago Botanic Garden
A Local Legacy

When you think of big urban centers like New York City, Washington, D.C., or Chicago you probably don't think of gardens. But each of these cities has a wonderful botanic garden amid their skyscrapers and monuments.

In 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden opened to teach lessons of nature that can be applied to our own lives. The garden is actually made up of 23 different gardens that visitors may walk through, including the English Walled Garden, the Midwestern Prairie, the Circle Garden, an Educational Greenhouse, a Fruit and Vegetable Garden, a Rose Garden and a Japanese Garden.

The Children's Garden, which was formed when the Botanic Garden opened, offers Chicago schoolchildren the opportunity to try planting, weeding and harvesting. In the Endangered Species Garden visitors can see native plants that are threatened with extinction. There is plenty of wildlife in the gardens as well. There have been sightings of bats, deer, woodchucks, bullfrogs and snapping turtles. There is even a "Big Bugs" exhibit.

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