Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory becomes home to one of only 25 Year-Round Tropical Butterfly Atriums in U.S. when it opened July 1, 2016.
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Hershey Gardens celebrated the opening of the new attraction on July 1, 2016.
HERSHEY, PA. (July 1, 2016) – The seasonal rose garden that opened in 1937 at Milton Hershey’s request to “create a nice garden of roses” became a year-round attraction in Pennsylvania’s Hershey Harrisburg Region on July 1, 2016 with the official opening of the new Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Gardens.
After 14-months of construction, one of the most anticipated features of the new 16,000-square-foot venue is the indoor butterfly atrium that allows visitors to experience some of the world’s most exotic and colorful butterflies year-round. The new exhibit is one of only 25 year-round butterfly atriums in the U.S. and features 600 colorful butterflies including hundreds of varieties from North American and tropical species never before seen in central Pennsylvania.
Those who visit the exhibit are immersed in a tropical oasis complete with indigenous plants, palm trees and a soothing water feature. The atrium also includes a chrysalis cabinet that allows guests to witness butterflies coming to life as they emerge from their jewel-like chrysalids (cocoons).
“The new conservatory is a seamless addition to the 79-year old Gardens,” said Mariella Trosko, director, Hershey Gardens. “Together, they create one of the most beautiful and majestic places to enjoy nature.”
The butterfly atrium is included with admission to Hershey Gardens: Adult $12.50; Senior (62 +) $11.50; Junior (3-12) $9; Under 3 – Free. Hours for the Butterfly Atrium are 9am-6pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day and 9am-5pm during fall and winter months.
Prior to the construction of the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory the Gardens hosted a seasonal butterfly house that was always one of the most popular attractions among the 23-acre botanical garden and arboretum located adjacent to The Hotel Hershey overlooking the town of Hershey, PA.
Educational & Horticultural Wing
The new Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory provides a year-round educational experience for individual visitors and organized school groups in the educational and horticultural wing which includes three learning kiosks that focus on the importance of butterflies in the ecosystem, the life cycle and senses of the butterfly, their migration patterns, and how they rely on camouflage and mimicry to survive in nature. The educational and horticultural wing also serves as a venue for horticultural exhibits, wedding receptions and special events.
Welcome Pavilion – The new entrance to Hershey Gardens
The Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory will now serve as the new entrance to Hershey Gardens. An overlook area will greet guests upon their arrival with panoramic views of the town of Hershey, including a view of the chocolate factory’s iconic smokestacks. Guests will then enter the 16,000-square-foot conservatory via the welcome pavilion, which features 22-foot palm trees and 65 handmade stained glass butterflies floating beneath a glass ceiling that towers 37-feet above ground. The welcome pavilion is also home to the Garden Shop.
Upon entering the Gardens, a new terrace provides views of Swan Lake, Hershey Gardens and The Hotel Hershey.
In the early 1900s, Milton and Catherine Hershey had glass conservatories built as a way to display plants in the winter. The conservatories soon became a popular destination for visitors to enjoy the beauty and variety of springtime and tropical plants during the cold, winter months. The new conservatory’s design draws inspiration from a conservatory built in 1909 at High Point, Milton and Catherine Hershey’s home.
“A Nice Garden of Roses” – History of Hershey Gardens
The Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory is yet another addition to Hershey Gardens, which opened in 1937 as a 3 ½-acre rose garden out of Milton Hershey’s request to “create a nice garden of roses.”
Many other milestones have marked the expansion of Hershey Gardens which, today, is a 23-acre botanical garden that hosts 115,000 visitors annually. A non-profit entity of The M.S. Hershey Foundation, Hershey Gardens features 11 themed gardens, including a children’s garden.
With its mission to provide educational and cultural enrichment opportunities, Hershey Gardens offers a wide range of educational programs, all of which center around nature and the environment. In 2015, the Gardens hosted 4,000 students for educational field trips and classes.
Admissions prices to Hershey Gardens, which includes entrance into the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory and the conservatory’s butterfly atrium, are as follows:
Regular - $12.50
Senior (62 +) - $11.50
Junior (3-12) - $9.00
Under 3 - Free
For news about events and activities at Hershey Gardens and the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory, please visit Hershey Gardens on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or visit HersheyGardens.org.
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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.
In the early 1900s, Milton and Catherine Hershey had glass conservatories built as a way to display plants in the winter. The conservatories soon became a popular destination for visitors to enjoy the beauty and variety of springtime and tropical plants during the cold, winter months. The Conservatory’s design draws inspiration from a conservatory built in 1909 at High Point, Milton & Catherine Hershey’s home.
The Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory pays tribute to those early 20th century conservatories and preserves Mr. and Mrs. Hershey’s vision of horticulture and education for future generations.
The Conservatory will transform Hershey Gardens into a 12-month educational experience that will allow the Gardens to serve students and visitors year round.
A capital campaign, launched in spring 2014, raised $3.3 million for the Conservatory. Donations were made by individuals and corporations.