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Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Gardens to open Summer '16

Published: Apr 30, 2015

The Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Gardens honors the Hershey legacy by providing the community with opportunities for educational and cultural enrichment.

MEDIA: Contact Anthony Haubert at The M.S. Hershey Foundation for more information on this announcement or to request images/logos at 717-298-2214 and cell 717-230-9160 or email athaubert@mshersheyfoundation.org. Also please bookmark HE&R’s Web site www.HersheyPA.com.

HERSHEY, PA (April 30, 2015) – Officials with Hershey Gardens were joined today by community leaders and local residents along with five students from the Milton Hershey Elementary School who used kid-sized shovels to break ground for the new Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Gardens that is slated to open in summer 2016.

“The Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Gardens honors the Hershey legacy by providing the community with opportunities for educational and cultural enrichment,” said Don Papson, executive director, The M.S. Hershey Foundation.

Drawing inspiration from the conservatories that were built for the Hershey’s in the early 1900s, the design for the new 16,000-square-foot conservatory includes a welcome pavilion, educational and horticultural wing, butterfly atrium, overlook and terrace. The conservatory will be open year-round and serve as the main entrance to Hershey Gardens.

In 1909, shortly after High Point was completed, a conservatory was built adjacent to the home’s gardens.

Photo courtesy of www.HersheyGardens.org

“The conservatory will allow visitors to inwardly explore the rich horticultural history of the Gardens, while the new observation deck will provide the perfect spot to look out on the entire town of Hershey,” said Rob Kinsley, President of LSC Design, the full-service design firm that is serving as architect for the conservatory.

Increased educational and learning opportunities for children are a primary focus of the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory. California-based design firm Deneen Powell Atelier (DPA) conceptualized the design for the educational and horticulture wing and butterfly atrium, both of which center around “immersive experiential learning.”

The educational and horticultural wing will feature four interactive experimentation stations that stimulate learning, where students, families and guests of all ages will be immersed in hands-on activities that explain the importance of butterflies in the ecosystem. Guests will also learn about the life cycle and senses of the butterfly, their migration patterns and nature's fascinating use of camouflage and mimicry. The educational and horticultural wing will also host seasonal flower shows and displays, and it will serve as the site of private event rentals.

The butterfly atrium will be home to 500 North American and tropical butterflies among a natural setting of plants and a water feature. A chrysalis education area is also part of the butterfly atrium.

“Whether it’s a student on a field trip, a family on vacation or a private event rental, their experience will be a blend of education and natural beauty,” added Papson.

As part of its efforts to expand educational opportunities, Hershey Gardens has created “Share the Gardens” Scholarship Fund, slated for launching once the conservatory is completed. The fund will subsidize the cost of field trips for local schools in which 75 percent or more of its students participate in free or reduced-price lunches as part of the National School Lunch Program. There are more than 30,000 eligible students in the surrounding cities of Lancaster, York, Reading, Lebanon, Harrisburg and Steelton-Highspire.

A capital campaign, launched in spring 2014, raised $3.3 million for the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory. Donations were made by individuals and corporations, including a $1 million contribution from The Hershey Company.

In addition to DPA and LSC Design, consultants include Reynolds Construction, Barton Associates, Keast & Hood Structural Engineers and K & W Engineers.

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The M.S. Hershey Foundation exists to preserve and enhance Milton Hershey’s legacy and community vision and to provide educational and cultural enrichment to residents of Hershey. Hershey Community Archives, Hershey Gardens, Hershey Theatre and The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue are operating divisions of the Foundation. www.mshersheyfoundation.org.

Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Visit Hershey & Harrisburg
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110