Goings on at the Garfield Park Conservatory

February 3, 2012 at 9:49 AM Leave a comment

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GPCA Volunteer Newsletter

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In This Issue

  • Tropical Treat Nights
  • Sweet Talks
  • Make a Working Worm Bin
  • Tour the Conservatory

Joke!  What kind of flowers do you never give on Valentine’s Day? (see below for answer)

Tropical Treat Night Activity Prep
Tuesday, February 7 10am – 12pm

To get ready for our Tropical Treat Nights, we need a few hands to help prepare the materials for the hands-on activities.  If you’re available during the time above, please let Mattie know.

Hail Storm Glass Made into Art
GPC Gift Shop

Local artists are putting the broken glass from last summer’s hail storm to good use and their artwork is currently being sold in our Gift Shop.  Glass bowls made by artist Bryan Northup are available for $100 to $250.  Beautiful windchimes and necklaces made by artist and GPC volunteer Beth Berger Martin are also available. All proceeds from these pieces will help the rebuilding efforts. 

Visit our Gift Shop and take home a piece of Conservatory history!

Tree ID Walk
Friday, February 17
Hours: 10am – noon
Where: Meet in the Conservatory’s lobby
Cost: Free!


Spring, summer, fall and winter – learn to identify city trees throughout the seasons with TreeKeeper Jim DeHorn of the Openlands Project. Jim will explore the trees of beautiful and historic Garfield Park. Interested children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Please dress appropriately for the weather – walks take place rain or shine!

Free Live Music at the Conservatory
Enjoy live music among living plants at the Conservatory! This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
This Month: 
February 8 & 15 join Sandy Lucas from 4-7pm for interactive tropical children’s tunes

February 11 the Copacabana Duo will perform Brazilian beats from 1-3pm

Save the Date:
Fleuortica will be on Friday, March 23 this year.
More information to come soon!



Hi Wilmer,

Another exciting month at the Conservatory has come and gone.  For the first time since the hail storm, the Conservatory has all public display rooms temporarily open until construction of our new glass roof starts.  Dragon dancers were brought in to help re-open the rooms along with celebrating the Chinese New Year.  February promises to be another great month with our two Tropical Treat Nights, more live music and a series of ‘sweet talks’.  Also, our last winter round of worm composting and beekeeping classes are coming up later this month and in early March, so reserve your spot soon!


We hope to see you around!




-Mattie Wilson

Volunteer Program Coordinator


773.638.1766 x26

Tropical Treat Nights

Wednesday, February 8 & 15

Hours: 3:00 pm to 7:30pm

More Volunteers Needed: 2:30 pm to 8:00 pm

For Tropical Treat Nights, visitors will come by the Conservatory to enjoy a tasty treat while learning about the “sweet plants” of the Conservatory. Fact and flavor stations will be staffed by volunteers throughout the Conservatory, featuring chocolate, chicle, vanilla, cinnamon, chewing gum, banana and more. Volunteers are needed to work a tropical treat station or activity station.  I’ll provide the information about your station ahead of time so you’re prepared for the event.  

If you’re able to come for the entire shift, great.  If you can only do the 1st or 2nd half of the shift, then let me know and I can schedule you from 2:30-5:30pm or 5-8pm.

This event is taking place because Sweet Saturdays was canceled due to the previous room closures.  For more information and to sign up, email Mattie.

Sweet Talks at the Conservatory:

Wednesday, February 8, 6 pm – 7:30 pm

Saturday, February 11, 10 am to Noon
Wednesday, February 15, 6 pm – 7:30 pm
Click the link for more information, pricing, and to reserve your spot!


Kitchen Sink Composting – Indoor Worm Bins for Your Kitchen

Saturday, February 25

Hours: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Where: Jensen Room

Cost: $40 per worm bin, includes up to two attendees


Looking for great compost you can make in your own kitchen? Come to this workshop, learn about worm composting, and leave with your very own kitchen composting bin, complete with worms.  The class will cover how to build a worm bin, maintenance, trouble shooting and harvesting.  Attendees must pre-register for this class.

Pre-register to reserve your spot here.

Beginning Beekeeping Class
Saturday, March 10
Hours: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Jensen Room
Cost: $70 / $50 GPCA members and active volunteers
Spend the day with us learning the basics of beekeeping equipment, hive design and construction, bee biology and behavior, bee management and bee products. This class is a pre-requisite for adults interested in becoming a volunteer beekeeper at GPC.  If you have questions about the class, please contact Melanie Harding

 Pre-registration is required at this link.  Also, click the ‘link’ for additional winter dates.

Tour the Conservatory
$12 per person
Free for GPCA Members

Explore the Conservatory with a trained GPC Guide and while you’re at it, bring along a friend who has yet to see the Conservatory.  We offer three separate tours- General Conservatory, Behind-the-Scenes, and Tropical Treat.  Each tour will lead visitors on an excursion through the different rooms/areas providing stories, facts and sometimes tastes along the way.  Be sure to check out the registration link for more details on our unique tours.


Pre-registration is required; click here to see a schedule of dates and to register.

Update from the Storm Damage:
  • All display houses are now open to the public, thanks to the temporary roof made out of polycarbonate.
  • This spring, construction will begin to replace the temporary polycarbonate with permanent glass
  • Seven out of 11 propagation houses will not be covered with polycarbonate this winter due to costs.
Cost so far: Clean-up is estimated around 2 to 2.5 million dollars.  To completely repair will be millions more.  Insurance is expected to pay some of the cost, but a deductible and additional costs will need to be raised.
If you’d like to donate to Save the Conservatory, One Pane at a Time click here.  Thanks to everyone who has donated money or their time to ‘Save the Conservatory’!
Plant Yourself Here.  Volunteer!



Entry filed under: Green Information, Just for fun., Other Happenings, Volunteer opportunities.

When temperatures drop, birds welcome seed and suet. Think Spring! Shade loving plants.

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