The St. Charles property and its location are key to the strategic goal of the center -- to establish a powerful horticulture and natural resources field research program at the edge of the Chicago metropolitan area. Positioned at the intersection of urban, suburban, and rural landscapes, the site offers an opportunity to revitalize research, education, and outreach in horticulture, natural resources, and environmental science for the greater Chicago area. It has the potential to address the complex issues affecting green spaces and to play a key role in preserving the prosperity and viability of the northern Illinois landscape.
The center’s partners -- the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kane County Extension, the horticultural industry, and Center donors -- envision a facility that, in addition to serving a traditional horticultural clientele, will also educate and engage students, homeowners, urban planners, and government agencies in the latest horticultural techniques and plant materials. Its purpose it to work closely with industry and governmental representatives in developing a plan that encompasses on-site research, education, and demonstration areas, with a particular focus on the following areas: