Clarence Godshalk, The Morton Arboertum's first director, was responsible for the naming of this lake. Meadow Lake was chosen since, before its excavation, the area was often referred to as the Administration Building Meadow. This particular land development held special significance to Clarence Godshalk. In a letter to The Morton Arboretum Board of Trustees in 1959, Godshalk wrote:
The new Meadow Lake has given me more of a thrill in its creation than anything I have done in the Arboretum development... The first thing in the morning and the last thing at night I find great pleasure in looking at this body of water as it grows, now that the lake is being filled.