Coronavirus Updates at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden

November 19, 2020  

Beginning Friday, November 20, the Main Visitor’s Center at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden will be closed to the public to align with the city and state Tier 3 mitigations. Klehm’s grounds will continue to remain open from 9AM to 4PM Monday through Saturday, and restrooms will continue to be open and available for use at the Clarcor Pavilion. We ask that visitors please follow all recommended social distancing guidelines while enjoying our grounds.

Visitors are encouraged to donate their admission by using their smartphone to scan QR-code signage located at each end of the main parking lot that will take them to a special checkout webpage.

We truly appreciate the understanding and support of everyone during this time – stay safe!

July 29, 2020  

Dear Klehm Supporter,

I am writing today from Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Rockford, Illinois to provide you with an update regarding our Fall Garden Fair event scheduled for September 26 and 27. I hope this message finds you well and in good health.

When our organization responded to the challenge of COVID-19 that made our annual Garden Fair event in June impossible to hold, we hoped for the very best in scheduling a new fall date for the event. Our very best wishes were for our region to be in a much better position regarding COVID-19 testing and results. Similarly, at the time we rescheduled, the State of Illinois had yet to release the guidelines and restrictions that are now in place regarding large group gatherings. We know that in our current phase of reopening, gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited, and unfortunately, we believe this restriction will still be in place in two months’ time.

In light of the above circumstances and given the overall scale and scope of our planned Fall Garden Fair event, we have made the difficult decision at this time to cancel it. We are of course disappointed to make this decision, but we feel we must. 

We are truly hopeful that the event will be able to be held next year, and in the meantime, we are planning some exciting virtual events, programs and on-site activities to be held this coming fall. Klehm is beautiful year-round, and we are dedicated to showcasing our “living museum” to our members and the public so all can experience the wonder and serenity that nature brings to our lives.

Finally, thank you for your understanding and your support throughout this time. We continue to remain open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and would love to see you out to visit soon!

Best regards,


Alexander S. Mills

Executive Director, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden

June 29, 2020  

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend our popular Donation Days (i.e. the first Tuesday of each month when daily admission has been waived) in order to best follow State of Illinois Phase 4 Reopening guidelines. We hope to be able to offer free activities and admission opportunities later in the season to make our grounds and gardens accessible to all. We thank you for your understanding as we strive to keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe and healthy.

June 26, 2020  


We encourage our visitors to stay safe and follow the guidelines below during their visit to Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Thank you!

June 5, 2020  

Class Guidelines during the Phase 3: Recovery period of the Restore Illinois plan:

  • Classes held at Klehm Arboretum will be kept to a maximum of 10 individuals, including the instructor of the class, during Phase 3.
  • Before arriving to the class, participants should assess whether they are currently exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever of 100.4 degrees or above, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, or other CDC-identified symptoms). If participant has any symptoms, they should not attend the class. If participant had previous symptoms, they should not attend the class unless they have had no fever for 72 hours prior to the class, other symptoms have improved, and at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.
  • Before being granted entrance to the class, instructor should ask whether participant is currently exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. If a participant does have any symptoms, they should not be enter the premises for the class unless they have had no fever for 72 hours, other symptoms have improved, and at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.
  • Participants should wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when within 6-feet of others (cloth masks preferred).
  • Social distance of at least 6-feet should be maintained between non-household individuals.
  • Objects should not be shared between non-household individuals.
  • Drinking fountain will be unavailable at this time so participants should supply their own water/drink if desired.

The Visitor’s Center is not open to the public at this time, and classes will be limited to 10 individuals. Participants are asked to enter and exit through the front doors of the Visitor’s Center as the back doors will remain locked. The Gift Shop will not be open at this time. For the safety of all our class participants, instructors, and Klehm staff, all surfaces will be disinfected prior to the class and after the class. Hand washing capability and/or sanitizer will be available.


June 1, 2020  


May 1, 2020 – For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/3bL8DrP. 

April 30, 2020 – To our Garden Fair Attendees, Vendors, Presenters and Volunteers, 

I write today to let you know that in light of Illinois Governor Pritzker’s recent extension of the stay-at-home order for our state, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden will be unable to host our widely anticipated annual Garden Fair event schedulefor this upcoming June 6 and 7, 2020. We intend to move the event to our alternate dates of September 26 and 272020 and to transform it into our first-ever Autumn Garden Fair. We hope that at that time as many of you as possible will be able to join us for a celebration of garden plants, informative presentations, garden art, repurposed items and more! 

If you are a Garden Fair vendor, please click here for more information. 

I want to again thank everyone for their understanding and support during this difficult time. I know that everyone is facing different challenges in their lives and businesses right now, and I hope that the prospect of a still-beautiful spring and warm summer, coupled with the anticipation for our new Autumn Garden Fair event, will give everyone something fun and exciting to look forward to here at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden. 

Warm Regards, 

Alexander S. Mills, Executive Director 

April 10, 2020 – To read a message from our Executive Director, Alexander Mills, with several updates, both broad and specific, as to how Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is adapting and responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please click here

March 23, 2020 – Our gates will continue to open at 9 AM and close at 4 PM daily to allow for public access, but please note that the Main Visitor’s Center and Clarcor Restrooms will continue to remain closed. Visitors are welcome to enjoy our trails, but we will not be collecting admission at this time. While we are open, please be mindful of the recommended social distancing practices.

March 16, 2020 – Effective immediately, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is taking the following precautions in response to COVID-19:

  • All programs and events scheduled for the month of March have been postponed or cancelled to prevent risk of potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Please watch our events page at www.klehm.org/events or follow our Facebook events for more information regarding new dates and other details as they become available.
  • We will continue to follow recommendations from the Winnebago County Health Department and the Center for Disease Control, and will provide information regarding future events and scheduled programs occurring in April and beyond as determinations are made.
  • Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden will remain open to the public during regular business hours (7 days a week, from 9 AM to 4 PM), however the Visitor’s Center and Clarcor Pavilion restrooms will be closed to the public until further notice. Visitors are encouraged to explore the grounds and gardens while following public health guidelines. Donations toward the cost of admission during this time are welcomed and can be made by visiting www.klehm.org.

If you need support or assistance, staff are available by email at info@klehm.org and by phone at 815-965-8146.

Stay safe!

March 13, 2020 – Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden continues to monitor the Coronavirus situation and is following the recommendations of the Winnebago County Health Department in order to help ensure a safe experience for all visitors. We will provide updates regarding the status of upcoming classes and programs via email, our website and social media, in the event that they should be cancelled, postponed or rescheduled.

As spring arrives, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden remains open during regular business hours, 7 days a week, from 9 AM to 4 PM. We encourage our visitors to follow public health guidelines as they take the opportunity to walk, explore and enjoy the grounds and gardens during this special season.