Olbrich Home Bolz Conservatory

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Olbrich Botanical Gardens brings beauty into the lives of nearly 250,000 people every year. The Gardens’ staff and volunteers are able to do this because of gifts of financial support provided by thousands of donors, as well as funding from the City of Madison.

In addition to raising $1 million each year to support the Gardens’ annual operations, the Olbrich Botanical Society raises funds for capital improvements and special projects. Below is a list of special projects and programs for which the Gardens needs funds. To make a gift in support of any of these, or for more information, please contact:

Roberta Sladky

Executive Director

(608) 246-4586 or rsladky@cityofmadison.com

Garden Docent & Greeter Materials:  $2,500

Volunteer Docents have been sharing information with visitors for many years in the Conservatory, and more recently in the outdoor gardens. This year, we will add Volunteer Greeters in the outdoor gardens. Their job will be to help visitors find their way through the gardens and provide general information. New training and reference materials are needed to help these volunteers do their jobs.

Computer for the Education Department:  $1,000

In response to a growing number of participants, our Education Department is growing, too! Our Family & Youth Program Coordinator is going to fulltime status, and our many education interns are working with us, not just during the summer, but throughout the year. We are in need of two new computers ($1,000 each) so that all of these dedicated staff don't have to share one computer.

Children's & Youth Education Programs:  $1,000

Olbrich offers ecology and tropical rainforest education programs for grade school classes, after school Children's Garden programs, and special nature and gardening education programs for youth ages 2 to 12.  A $1,000 contribution will cover the supplies and staff for one semester of any of these programs.

Plants for the Outdoor Gardens:  $24,000

Plants for the Conservatory:  $6,000

Each year Olbrich spends about $24,000 on plants and supplies for the outdoor gardens and $6,000 for the Conservatory. New perennials, shrubs, trees and annuals (of course!) are needed to keep the Gardens looking spectacular inside and outside.

Holiday Concert Series:  $5,000

Have you enjoyed Olbrich’s wonderful holiday concerts offered each Sunday in December? If so, perhaps you’d like to make a holiday gift to cover the cost of the series. Live musicians perform each Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. throughout the month. It’s a festive family outing that makes the holidays extra special!

Spring Flower Show:  $3,500

Our spring flower show is just what we all need to get us through our cold Wisconsin winters. For two weeks in March, you can smell spring, see colorful spring bulbs in bloom, hear the trickle of a babbling brook, and be reminded that spring is on its way.

Schumacher Library Annual Acquisitions:  $3,600

The Schumacher Horticultural Library at Olbrich Gardens serves as a resource for our entire community. Open daily, members of the public can use thousands books, tapes, and periodicals, as well as the services of our librarian and volunteers. Your gift will help us renew subscriptions and purchase books and audiovisual materials to keep our collection fresh and diverse.

Orchid Propagation Program:  $1,300

To expand its effort to save orchid species and decrease collecting pressures in sensitive tropical regions, Olbrich is planning to participate in propagation programs. Seeds from orchids collected by Conservatory Curator John Wirth will be shipped to other growers who will propagate large quantities of the plants, and return some to Olbrich. Already we have received $700 for this program. A gift of $1,300 will complete the funding and allow us to start the program.

Summer Concert Series:  $10,000

Winter Concert Series:  $2,000

Free concerts at Olbrich are enjoyed by thousands each year. Local musicians perform for eight outdoor concerts in the summer (average attendance 800) and 12 indoor concerts in the winter (average attendance 200). Whether its enjoying music in the summertime surrounded by glorious outdoor gardens, or finding a musical refuge on Sunday afternoons in our homey Evjue Commons, our concerts are fun for all.

Exhibits in the Bolz Conservatory:  $2,500 each; $7,500 annually

Three times each year, Olbrich compliments the magnificent plants in the Bolz Conservatory with special educational exhibits. Designed for all ages, interpretive signs and hands-on displays help visitors learn more about the rainforest ecosystem. At $2,500 each, exhibits have previously featured chocolate, rainforest patterns and textures, orchids, coffee, and fragrances.

Garden Tool Shed:  $13,500

Olbrich needs a new tool shed to provide work and storage space for the Sunken, Meadow, and Rock Gardens. The new structure will be located between the Meadow and Rock Gardens, and will have its own landscaped garden to integrate it nicely between the two gardens.

For more information contact:

Roberta Sladky

Executive Director

(608) 246-4586 or rsladky@cityofmadison.com

Ashlyn Mehlhaff

Donor Relations Manager

(608) 246-4716 or amehlhaff@cityofmadison.com

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719