For the first time in its 50-year history, the Chicago Botanic Garden will charge an admission fee to visitors.
The popular Glencoe garden will begin charging between $9.95 and $25.95 per person starting January 2022 due to "growing public demand and expectations," according to a release.
With a 43% increase in visitors, park officials said there is an enhanced need to maintain the gardens, guest experience and learning programs, as well as meet operational expenses.
The Botanic Garden currently charges between $20 and $30 per car to park at the facility, but noted the rate will change to $8 flat in 2022 with the updated admission cost. Members will continue to have free parking.
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“Nature is in demand,” said Jean M. Franczyk, Botanic Garden president and CEO. “We know that people live happier, healthier lives when they spend time in nature."
After paying the admission fee, guests can experience the Grand Tram Tour, Butterflies and Blooms and the Model Railroad Garden at no extra cost, the release said.
"Updating our admission structure will help us maintain the Garden and meet that growing demand, while providing significant accessibility to the Garden," Franczyk said.
Those with the following credentials will be able to enjoy the park for free or at a limited cost:
- Active-duty military and veterans
- Illinois teachers
- Illinois LINK card holders
- Chicago Museum Library Pass holders