While I was up in South Bend for my Grandma’s funeral one of the places I found solace was the Potawatomi Conservatory. It’s three connected conservatories, actually; the Ella Morris Conservatory, the Muessel-Ellison Conservatory and the Arizona Desert Dome.
It’s been a special place to me since I begged my mom to take me there when I was a kid. The place is pure magic. Both my sister and my daughter were breathless when we walked in.
It’s also…not well funded. It’s showing its age in places. And the pleasant elderly couple who were volunteering at the front desk were a little startled that three younger women wanted to wander around and look at the plants.
And that’s sad, because they do some really awesome stuff. They’ve done mother-daughter tea parties, the hold yoga classes (imagine it, yoga in a greenhouse!) and shown Rocky Horror. They’re trying to raise funding to restore a greenhouse built in the 1920s.
They’re also trying to fund a sensory park.
They’re a little bit of heaven and supporting them is not terribly expensive (you can become a member for $25 and visit for free, or buy a brick in the garden for $50. And if you are local, or pass through, they sell plants too to support their operations.) So since we’re coming into that time of year when people start making donations I wanted to highlight the Conservatories as a small, overlooked place that really deserves the support.