Baltimore Conservatory Association

Behind the Scenes

May 23, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: The association was founded last year to work in partnership with the city of Baltimore to ensure the future of the historic Baltimore Conservatory in Druid Hill Park, the third oldest designed park in the United States; to assist in the development of the conservatory into a premier horticultural center; to continue educational, recreational, career training, employment, economic development and tourism programs. The conservatory complex is owned by the city and includes the 1888 Palm House with glass walls that enclose tropical plants and trees, and three adjacent greenhouses.

Latest accomplishment: The conservatory was awarded a $500,000 state grant this year from the Maryland General Assembly. The money will be used for site development. The redevelopment of the conservatory was featured in Public Garden, the journal of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta.

On the horizon: Continuation of renovations, including two structures to complement the 1888 Palm House; new garden designs with added plant collections; renovation of the greenhouse in three themes -- the desert, Mediterranean and the tropics; construction of a new facility to house meeting rooms, office space and possibly a restaurant. The Canticle Singers of Baltimore will celebrate spring at the conservatory at 2 p.m. today with a concert of songs highlighting birds.

About the conservatory: Attendance: 60,000 annually. Operating budget: $400,000.

Where and when: Adjacent to the Baltimore Zoo in Druid Hill Park, Gwynns Falls Parkway and McCulloh Street. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Call 410-396-0180.

Peggy Stansbury, president of the board of directors: "We are thrilled to be working with the city of Baltimore on the next major cultural and educational attraction in Baltimore. Upon completion of the renovation project, the greenhouses and gardens will be transformed into indoor and outdoor living classrooms for the teaching of environmental, social and cultural lessons while still maintaining their role as beautiful places for passive recreation. We look forward to working closely with the Baltimore Zoo in making Druid Hill Park a wonderful place to visit."

Members of the board

Jane Baldwin

Anne O. Emery

Dennis Fiori

Ellie Heldrich

Joann Hitt

Edith Howard-Henry

Greta Jackson

Anne Madden

Bridget Magin

Kim Meagher

John Pumphrey

Elizabeth Shively

Paula Simon

William Stine

Barry Woolf

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