Conservatory Winter Update!

It’s that time of year again when the trees in Volunteer Park are putting on one final display of beauty before winter’s dormancy. While we may have been short-changed on a long, hot summer this year, the magnificent colors of the foliage seem to be trying to compensate and will not certainly disappoint anyone making the trip.

Volunteer Park’s crown jewel, the Conservatory watches proudly from the north, no doubt contemplating the final few weeks of being in the double-digits. 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Conservatory in Volunteer Park which will be commemorated throughout the entire year through events and programs open to the public.

The Friends of the Conservatory, now in its 31st year of service, has had one of its most active years in recent memory. Our two plant sales in May and September were extremely successful; the Spring Sale was the most successful sale on record! The Education Committee sponsored the Urban Safari Summer Camp program for grade-school students received glowing praise from participants and parents and will be expanded next year. The summer also bore a series of open houses to remind the Capitol Hill neighborhood of the perhaps-overlooked treasure right in their backyards. Visitors were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour, live music, and a book signing with Sara Chapman, author of an extensive and beautiful book chronicling the Conservatory collection throughout the year: “Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory: Blooming Month by Month” (available for purchase in the Conservatory Gift Shop.)

At the end of October, the Conservatory gardeners surprised us with the first-annual Haunted Conservatory After-Hour Open in which the tropical paradise was transformed with spooky decorations, chilling special effects, treats for visitors, and a screening of “Little Shop of Horrors” in the cactus house. December brings our annual Holiday Open House including a very special treat in just time for the centennial; the Conservatory will be outfitted with thousands of energy-efficient LED bulbs which will shine bright starting in December and remain installed for the duration of 2012 to commemorate the festive occasion. The FOC Gift Shop, located in the Conservatory has had a remarkably successful year with October sales up 68% over the previous October, and overall sales are up 19% from last year!

We are hoping you can join us for the festivities in the New Year! The Centennial Committee has some terrific events planned throughout the entire year, and we look forward to sharing them with you! For information about upcoming events or to learn how you can get involved, contact or call 206.322.4112.

Read more Conservatory updates in the FOC 2011 Fall/Winter Newsletter!

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