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About us

Our Mission

The Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory (FOPCON) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote interest in the Oak Park Conservatory, offer educational and recreational opportunities, and support projects that benefit the Oak Park Conservatory.

our History

The Oak Park Conservatory began as a community effort to house exotic plants that residents collected in their travels abroad. Completed in 1929, it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Free to the public and drawing over 50,000 visitors annually, the Conservatory offers a rich diversity of flora and fauna, with over 3,000 plants in three indoor showrooms and two outdoor gardens.

In the late 1970s, the Conservatory was saved from demolition by a groundswell of support from concerned community members. In 1986, Dr. Herbert and Elvira Rubinstein, along with former Conservatory Manager John Seaton, founded the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory. We are proud to partner with the Park District of Oak Park in ensuring the Conservatory’s continued vitality.

Our Impact

Today the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory offers a wide range of programs focused on expanding community interest and enriching the visitor experience at the Conservatory. From volunteering to educational and recreational opportunities, tours and classes, there is something for everyone to enjoy year-round.

In an average year:

  • We provide thousands of hours of volunteer service to the Conservatory.
  • We offer dozens of educational programs and guided tours for all ages.
  • We provide thousands of dollars in grants to support Conservatory improvements and programs. More than $1.1 million has been donated to date.
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Celebrating 36 Years

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Annual Reports

Thanks to our Members and Donors and Supporters for making it possible for The Friends to provide programming and education and support to the Oak Park Conservatory, our local treasure.

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