March 13, 2018 @ 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center
610 N Bell School Rd
Rockford, IL 61107
$45 each, NLI members, $60 each non NLI members and includes a one year introductory membership; Tables of 10: Member rate/$450, NonMember Rate/$600, Table Sponsorship/$1,000
Kim Johnsen

60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner 

​Tuesday, March 13, 2018

5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Ticket price: $45 each, NLI members, $60 each non NLI members and includes a one year introductory membership. Tables of 10 available: NLI Member Rate/$450, Non Member Rate/$600, Table Sponsorship/$1,000.

George Johnsen accepts the 2017 George and Barbara Fell Award, Photo: Jill Kennay.

Founded in 1958, Natural Land Institute, a tax deductible land conservation organization will celebrate 60 years of protecting land in Illinois throughout 2018.

The 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner is a gathering of approximately 250 of NLI’s regional community and land conservation supporters who get together to network and connect, and to hear about our impact on preserving and restoring natural areas in the region. This year’s program will feature highlights from the past 60 years. In addition to networking, and dinner, the Board of Trustees will recognize outstanding land conservation achievement and leadership with the presentation of the annual George and Barbara Fell Award.

The program will include Guest Speaker, Alan Branhagen, naturalist, plantsman, author and Director of Operations at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. He will also sign his newest book, Native Plants of the Midwest, that will be available to purchase that evening.

The Celebration will begin with live music during the social and dinner hours by the Tom Flanigan and Friends Quartet playing popular Swing and Jazz music from the era that NLI was founded. A nature and experiential themed silent auction and networking also begin at 5:30 p.m., welcoming remarks and dinner at 6:45 p.m., and the award presentation and program at 7:30 p.m.

Dinner Entree Choices

ROSEMARY CRUSTED CHICKEN BREAST – free Range Semi Boneless Chicken Breast, Rosemary Lemon Rub, Beurre Blanc with creme fraiche whipped potatoes and roasted vegetables

MAPLE WALNUT CRUSTED SALMON with rice pilaf and roasted vegetables

Vegetarian LASAGNA with Layers of Pasta, Zucchini, Cheese, Meatless Marinara served with Roasted Vegetables

You have the opportunity to be a part of our 60th Anniversary Celebration!

Event and Table Sponsorships available. Want to donate a nature themed item or experience (i.e. restaurant GC, timeshare, event/concert/theater tickets, guided nature hike at a preserve, birdwatching hike, etc.) to the silent auction? Contact Kim Johnsen, Director of Marketing & Membership, at kjohnsen@naturalland.org or call: 815-964-6666 to make arrangements or ask questions.

Additional Information about Alan Branhagen

Alan J. Branhagen is Director of Operations at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum where he supervises capital improvements, horticulture and natural resources, plant curation, facilities, and information technology. For over 20 years he was Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden and prior to that he had a nearly decade-long duty as Deputy Director of Resource Development for the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District in Rockford, Illinois.  Alan Branhagen received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University with emphasis on planning, plants and design with nature. He wrote The Gardener’s Butterfly Book in 2001 published by the National Home Gardening Club and has written articles for Fine Gardening, Missouri Gardener, Missouri Prairie Journal, Landscape Maintenance and Restoration and Management Notes. In November 2016, Timber Press published his book Native Plants of the Midwest.  Beyond public garden management, Mr. Branhagen is an all-around plantsman and naturalist (specializing in botany, birds and, butterflies) and travels throughout the Midwest and the country visiting gardens and natural areas. He grew over 1,500 taxa of plants at his Missouri garden “Luna Ridge” nestled on 6 acres of woodland and meadow. He is starting a new garden on 2.4 acres overlooking the Minnesota River Valley in Chaska, Minnesota.

Please fill out the form below to register and submit payment for 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Fundraiser.

60th Anniversary Celebration

  • (If applicable)
  • Must match your credit card billing address.
  • Please let us know if you have any special requests or needs.
  • Ticket Options

  • Price: $450.00 Quantity:
  • Price: $600.00 Quantity:
  • Please enter number of tickets desired.
    Price: $45.00 Quantity:
  • Includes one year introductory membership to the Natural Land Institute.
    Price: $60.00 Quantity:
  • Please enter donation amount.
  • Please enter donation amount.
  • Guest Names & Entree Choices

    Please click on "+" sign to add additional lines.
  • First and Last NameEntree Choice: Chicken (C), Fish (F) or Vegetarian (V) 
    Add a new row
  • $0.00