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2018 Annual Appeal with Matching Challenge

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2018 Annual Appeal with Matching Challenge

December 14, 2018 - December 31, 2018

Good news! Our Matching Challenge has been extended. We reached our initial goal of $5,000.  Thanks to this success, we have generous matching donors who are increasing our match which is now up to $7,500!  Donations will be matched now through December 31st.  Please go to our Donate page today and support the Friends, support the Conservatory!  Your donation is a big help.

We offer programming and events designed to build community and are either free or, like Uncorked, we charge a minimal fee to cover costs.  Here are some of the things we do.

This Fall we welcomed District 97 kindergarten and first-graders for guided-tours of the showrooms.

On the weekends, stop in with your kids and enjoy the Exploration Station we have set up with a volunteer in the lobby with a different theme each month. November’s theme is “Garden Insects.”

One of our accomplishments this past year was to create a new education kit that is available for loan, free to first-grade teachers in District 97. The Exploration Kit, “Plant Super-Powers,” highlights plants of our showrooms and garden, talks about habitats and survival, and touches on a new and exciting field of science called biomimicry. Students who have had the kit in their classroom before coming to the Conservatory for a tour got a rich, connected, hands-on learning experience.

This coming year, join us for our Member Lecture Series. The theme will be “Connecting with Nature,” which will mirror the educational programming we have been doing with children at the Conservatory.

Toddler Exploration Time (TET) is a free program offered through the Park District. It has filled up so fast that we added a few more spaces so fewer of you would miss out.

0ur amazing Discovery Garden Exploration Time draws children and families to the Conservatory. Twice a week in the summer our volunteers set up a monthly activity theme in the Elsie Jacobsen Discovery Garden. This summer we saw record numbers of families visit the garden. Not only did the children love exploring the hand pump, playing with the garden tools, but they also made discoveries about fossils and dinosaurs thanks to our garden volunteers’ gentle guidance!

Please be our guest at our annual KidsFest on March 3 at the Conservatory! We are looking forward to another great year with hundreds of visiting families.

Thank you for attending Fall Fest, an event we sponsor for the Park District. This year 2,000 visitors stopped by for cider, fall fun, and, of course, the tradition of selecting a pumpkin.

Our Uncorked summer series was wildly successful this season with around 100 guests at each event filling the Herbert M. Rubinstein Memorial Garden with good vibes. I hope you had an opportunity to come to one.

This coming Spring, we will put on our 30th Annual Plant Sale. All those years ago, our sale started as the “Herb and Scented Plant Sale.” Over the years, it has changed to accommodate changing interests. Thirty years is a good reason to celebrate and we are going to bring back 30 favorites from those first sales.

We will also offer four NEW free lectures that we are calling the Learn & Grow Series leading up to the Plant Sale, given by our own Master Gardener members. Each talk will feature plants that will be for sale. Master Gardeners will introduce the plants and give you tips on how to grow and use them!

The Friends has long collaborated with the Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest to present the Garden Walk in June. This garden walk features a blend of traditional, native, and edible gardens, plus a variety of landscape designs. I

We do a lot, but we have a lot more work to do. We truly rely on you, our donor, to make it possible.

Go to our Donate page and make a donation today! 

We thank you for your support. 


December 14, 2018
December 31, 2018