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The Morton Arboretum October calendar of events, fall preview

A scarecrow in a plaid outfit looks out over a lake and trees in fall color
September 16, 2020
In October, The Morton Arboretum will continue to offer in-person and online programming for all ages. Select fall events will take place in-person at the Arboretum with adjusted operations to ensure public safety; some will be held in a virtual format. 
All fees listed are for the general public and include parking and admission to the Arboretum. Information is accurate as of the date of this release. Due to the coronavirus public health situation, the Arboretum is encouraging the media to check the mortonarb.org website for updates prior to publication as times, dates and details may change. 
In-Person Event Safety Procedures
Participants must comply with current public health guidelines as required by the governor of Illinois, which include six feet of social distancing and the use of face masks when indoors and when social distancing is not possible outdoors. For more information on the Arboretum’s safety guidelines, please visit the Arboretum’s Know Before You Go Visit Information page. 
2020 Midwest Tree and Shrub Conference - Sept. 17 and 24 | 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
$37 (per day) or $62 (two-day registration)
Rethink how you select and maintain trees and shrubs with advice from leading experts during the virtual 2020 Midwest Tree and Shrub Conference: Diverse Plantings for a Resilient Future. Anyone interested in trees and shrubs, from avid home gardeners and landowners to green-industry professionals, will find valuable information and networking opportunities during this two-day online conference. 
Evergreen: The Gala for The Morton Arboretum - Sept. 26 | 6:30 p.m.
With large gathering restrictions still in place in Illinois, the Arboretum’s signature fundraising event will be virtual this year. For the first time, the evening gala will be free to attend online via live stream on YouTube. Donations during the hour-long event will support the Arboretum’s ability to advance leading-edge tree science, benefiting Chicago-area communities, as well as threatened species globally. There will be surprise celebrity guests, and participants will have an opportunity to bid on auction prizes (until 9 p.m.) and make donations easily from a mobile device or computer while viewing the program. In 2019, the event raised nearly half a million dollars for tree-focused research, outreach and programs. For more information, visit gala.mortonarb.org.
Virtual Glass Pumpkin Patch - Oct. 14–18
The 10th annual Glass Pumpkin Patch has been adapted to an online format due to large gathering restrictions in Illinois. A stunning array of handblown glass pumpkins will be available for purchase online, with in-person pick up at the Thornhill Education Center parking lot. A link to the sale will be available on the website on Wednesday, Oct. 14. 
Fall Color 5K Run and Walk - Oct. 3 or 4 | 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Run a socially distant race, beginning and ending at The Morton Arboretum Visitor Center on Saturday, Oct. 3 or Sunday, Oct. 4, or participate virtually by running a 5K anywhere and at any time you choose. No matter when or where participants choose to run, they will be supporting the Arboretum's work to plant and protect trees. 
Scarecrow Trail - Daily, Oct. 1 through Nov. 1 | 7 a.m. to sunset
Take a stroll around Meadow Lake to view scarecrows created by local scout troops and school groups. After your walk, vote for your favorite scarecrow online. 
Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum - Nov. 20 through Jan. 3
Get ready for the eighth year of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum as a reimagined driving experience featuring five new displays and returning favorites. Guests will remain in their cars, tune in to a customized soundtrack of music via car radio, and drive a route of nearly two miles among the Arboretum’s majestic trees. Tickets go on sale to members only with early bird pricing Oct. 1–7, and to guests Oct. 8. Ticket prices are per vehicle and range from $29 to $49. Timed tickets must be purchased online at mortonarb.org/illumination or in person at the Visitor Center in advance of arrival at Illumination. Tickets will not be sold on-site during the event. 
Timed-entry member passes or guest tickets are NOT required to enter the Arboretum for in-person class participation. Admission is included. All pricing listed is for the general public.
Forest Therapy Walk (three hours) - Oct. 12 | 1 to 4 p.m.
Experience the healing and wellness-promoting effects of shinrin-yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest. Awaken your senses and reconnect with nature during these mindful walks with a certified Forest Therapy guide. No two walks are the same; visit different locations at The Morton Arboretum and enjoy a variety of awareness-raising exercises. 
Arboretum Yoga - Mondays, Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26 | 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Improve your health and well-being with yoga in the tranquil setting of The Morton Arboretum. The class will practice poses, breathing and meditation.
Aerial Tree Yoga - Select Mondays, Oct. 5 and 26 | 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Stretch, strengthen and release stress while having fun, cocooned in a hammock suspended from oak trees. Aerial yoga offers wonderful benefits to the mind, body and soul, and is suitable for beginners and experienced yogis.
Tai Chi - Oct. 14 or 28 | 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Move your body with the grace and confidence of the ancient Tai Chi masters who learned the secret of balancing yin and yang – strength with beauty, power with peace, endurance with flow. TaijiFit™ is a form of Tai Chi suitable for beginners. There is no routine or choreography to memorize or “get right.” The instructor will lead you into flow using the Qi Cueing method developed by International Master David-Dorian Ross. 
Drawing Nature II - Four Saturdays | Oct. 17 through Nov. 7 | 9 a.m. to noon
Develop your nature-drawing skills under the guidance of a knowledgeable instructor. Building on the introduction of skills learned in Begin to Draw Nature, by the end of this class participants will have a strong understanding of basic techniques and composition through demonstrations, practice and one-on-one support from the instructor. 
Plants for Wilderness Survival - Oct. 24 | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Learn the many ways that plants can help a person stay alive in the wild. During this interactive workshop, participants will rediscover how humans have used and relied upon plants for survival for generations. Participants will learn how to find and make tinder from plants, build and start a fire, use plants to gather water, construct a bowl or spoon using tools from nature, build a shelter using natural materials, and make cordage or rope. Participants will enjoy a bow-drill demonstration that uses the power of friction to start a fire.
Youth and Family
Little Acorns (18 to 35 months) - Oct. 6, 14 or 22 | 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Little Sprouts (3 to 5 years) - Oct. 7, 15 or 20 | 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Young explorers will hike, play, listen to stories and engage in science and art in these hands-on, sensory-based programs. An adult must accompany a child.  
Woodland Family Hike: Fall Color - Oct. 10, 11, 17 or 18 | 11 a.m. to noon or 2 to 3 p.m.
Discover the Arboretum’s diverse tree collections and the animals that call them home during the Woodland Family Hikes. During the family-paced, fall color adventure hike around Meadow Lake, families will learn about the many plant transformations taking place in fall and take home a colorful memento to commemorate this special time in the forest. Hikes begin and end in the Children’s Garden. 
Beginning iPhone Photography - Oct. 3, 9 a.m. to noon
Learn how to take great nature photos with an iPhone in this online class. Whether you are new to photography or new to smartphones, the course will cover the iPhone’s most useful camera functions, provide tips and tricks for composing aesthetically pleasing images, discuss apps for basic photo editing, and more. 
Mondays, Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26 | 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. 
Wednesdays, Oct. 7, 14, 21 and 28 | 6 to 7 p.m.
Join the Arboretum for live yoga online sessions Mondays and Wednesdays in October. Maintain your health and well-being with yoga from the comfort of your home. Students will receive a link to join instructor Natalie Schilke for a live yoga class. During each one-hour class, participants will practice poses, breathing and meditation.
Beginning Home Composting - Oct. 5 | 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Discover the basics of backyard composting and composting with worms during this online class for beginners. Compost is a dark crumbly material—the result of decomposed organic materials—that improves the structure and texture of the soil, enabling it to better retain nutrients, moisture and air around plant roots. Learn how to turn your kitchen scraps and yard waste into wonderfully rich, free compost. 
Nature Writing - Oct. 5 (Online materials become available); Oct. 12, 26 and Nov. 9 (Live Zoom sessions)
Learn the nuts and bolts of excellent nature writing during the six-week online course. Participants will complete self-paced assignments and attend scheduled Zoom sessions with the instructor and classmates. Through weekly online assignments and interactive Zoom sessions, participants will read classic nature writing and discuss what makes it work, learn to engage an audience through writing choices and voice, hone writing skills by practicing a variety of techniques, cultivate a habit of writing regularly and learn how to receive and give constructive critique. Registration for Nature Writing closes at 11:59 p.m Sunday, Oct. 4.  
Exploring Chicago's Oak Woodlands - Oct. 7 | 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Explore the importance and complexity of oak ecosystems in this online class. Oaks have defined the environment in northern Illinois, playing critical roles in shaping and supporting local ecosystems. But today their populations are in decline. Discover the role oaks play in supporting plants, animals and the characteristic habitats in the Midwest. Learn why they are declining and what is being done to support oak recovery. Participants will come away with new ideas to get involved protecting oaks.
Sumi-E Brush Painting Trees - Three Thursdays | Oct. 8, 15 and 22 | 9 to 11 a.m.
Sumi-e is the Japanese word for “black ink painting,” a style of art in which the brush strokes capture the spirit (Ch’i) of nature rather than a photographic likeness. Class participants will learn to simplify a specimen into a few well-placed strokes with this minimalist approach of brush painting. Emphasis is placed on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush. Participants should purchase supplies before class, and then join the instructor and classmates for three live online sessions, including informative lectures, demonstrations, and practice time with feedback and support from the instructor. 
Following the Changing Fall Foliage - Oct. 16 | 1 to 3 p.m.
Learn how community scientists are helping forecast changes to forests by tracking fall foliage. Following the changing colors of the fall leaves is one of life’s great pleasures. But for ecologists studying changes to forests and climate change, the seasonal timing of fall color holds clues to the future. Learn how community scientists are using tools from the USA National Phenology Network to record the appearance of fall colors in trees and how scientists are using this data to understand forests. Guided by experts from the Arboretum’s forest ecology research team, participants will learn new ways of viewing fall color, be introduced to websites and apps to begin recording fall color, and get deeper insights into  the seasonal changes that trees go through each year. 
Basic Plant ID - Oct. 15, noon (Online materials become available.)
Whether you are a natural resources volunteer, specialist, gardener, naturalist or artist, this class provides the botany basics necessary to identify plants. From the comfort of your home or office, use self-paced online learning modules to learn plant identification vocabulary and describe plant structures and life histories. Plan to spend roughly 90 minutes completing the online material. Students will have access to online materials for 60 days. 
Basic Tree ID - Oct. 15, noon (Online materials become available.)
Learn to identify the common trees in local preserves and in neighborhoods in this online-only class. Use characteristics such as leaves, bark, branches, flowers and fruit to identify a tree, with keys and field guides as resources.
Botanical Names DeMystified - Oct. 15, noon (Online materials become available.)
In the class, students will learn the botanical names for 40 common plant species that are native to Illinois, how to use the scientific names of plants, why naming conventions are useful, and tips and tricks for pronouncing scientific names. Online materials consist of learning modules with reading material, short videos, interactive activities and quizzes. The course will take approximately 90 minutes to complete and can be completed within 60 days. This course was recently featured in Chicago Magazine’s September 2020 issue.
Nature Beyond the Binary - Oct. 17 | 10 to 11:30 a.m.
$17 (Suggested donation)
Plants and animals offer many different ways of being, becoming and living. From intersex worms to flowers that transition sex overnight, nature is nonbinary. During the virtual workshop, learn about and celebrate the diversity found throughout nature. Led by nonbinary nature enthusiast Nat Carreno, this interactive online program will offer insights into the diversity of biological expression in the natural world.