Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Save the Volunteer Park Conservatory!

A few days ago I learned of some troubling news: the Volunteer Park Conservatory is on the chopping block due to budget restraints.

The Conservatory is one of my absolute favorite places in the city. If you have never been, go. Walking into those calm, humid rooms - warm even on the coldest of days - is like taking a year's worth of deep, healing breaths.

They cultivate exotic orchids; plants are rotated with the seasons; they have an entire room dedicated to cacti; a jade plant that has lived for more than 80 years calls the conservatory home. They also exhibit or tour exotic plants, and it was thanks to the Conservatory and the participation of the UW that I - and hundreds of others - got to experience up close and personal the wretched, rotting smell of the corpse flower in 2005 (and again in 2008).

In short, it is one of the city's gems and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say it would be tragic to let this landmark close.

A few facts:
The conservatory has been open for almost 100 years
It is one of only 3 Victorian-style greenhouses on the West coast
More than 150,000 people visited last year
It is run by five employees and a team of volunteers
It is largely funded by visitor donations

How you can help:
Email Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher at timothy.gallagher@seattle.gov
Comment on why you want the Conservatory to stay open here.
Vote up to 3 times to keep the Conservatory open here.

There are more people you can contact (including Mayor McGinn and Councilwoman Godden) and other ways to help, including a petition you can download in order to gather signatures, listed on the Friends of the Conservatory website

The budget will be finalized in September. If this is important to you, please spread the word NOW before budget talks go any further.

1 comment:

AmberAnda said...

Thanks for spreading the word about this! It is indeed a Seattle gem.