Hail damage to the Propagation Greenhouses

Garfield Park Conservatory was severely damaged by hail on Thursday, June 30. It is heart-breaking to see our long-time partner suffer. Volunteer Coordinator Mattie Wilson reports that the Palm House, Sugar from the Sun, the Children’s Garden, and most of the outdoor areas are still open to the public. The Fern Room, Show House, and Desert House sustained the most damage and are closed along with the Aroid House.

Mattie shared with us that, “The Garfield Park Conservatory, being one of few cultural institutions outside of the downtown area, is not only a spot for tourists but a learning center for neighborhood residents, school teachers, gardeners and children across Chicago.  The non-profit arm of the Conservatory, the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, educates the public on how to incorporate gardening, composting and beekeeping into their lives, sparks children’s fascination with plants and nature at a young age through our children’s programming, and invites thousands of visitors to experience the Conservatory in a unique way through our many themed and educational special events.  Our commitment is in serving the interest of the public, so we’ve opened up, even if only partially, so people can continue to explore the Conservatory.”

At this time volunteers are not able to handle glass. Volunteers are needed to help maintain open areas of the Conservatory and the outdoor gardens, freeing staff up to focus on the clean-up efforts. To lend a hand sign up for an upcoming Chicago Cares volunteer project at Garfield Park Conservatory. Our next project is scheduled for August 13. Sign up at www.chicagocares.org.

Glass shards litter the floor of the Garfield Park Conservatory Show House

You can support Garfield Park Conservatory by donating funds to assist with the repair efforts. According to www.garfield-conservatory.org, “The Chicago Park District does hold insurance on the Conservatory, and this is currently being assessed. The full cost of the clean up and repairs are still unknown, but the insurance will not cover the full cost and a deductible will need to be paid.” Visit www.garfield-conservatory.org to make a donation, learn more about effects of the storm, and to see photos of the damage.

Read more about Chicago Cares’ partnership with Garfield Park Conservatory on Friday, July 15.