About this Project
Hershey Gardens opened in 1937 to fulfill Milton Hershey’s dream of creating “a nice garden of roses.” The garden now spans 23 acres and is filled with all types of shrubs, rare trees, and, of course, flowers. In the spring you can find over 21,000 tulip blooms and as spring turns to summer, over 3000 rose blooms grace the gardens.
The dream of Milton Hershey, 75 years in the making, the conservatory is arguably the best part of the botanical gardens. Overlooking the town of Hershey PA, the Hershey Gardens Conservatory is a place that will take your breath away. The conservatory opened in 2016 to provide a year-round garden experience.
Don Papson, the executive director of the M. S. Hershey Foundations says, “We’re very excited about being able to add this year-round facility, especially for the children and families that want to learn more about plants, horticulture, and now butterflies.“
Upon entering the conservatory visitors are greeted by huge trees that reach upward to a 37-foot-high glass atrium adorned with 63 hand-crafted, stained glass butterflies.
Wander into the butterfly wing, one of only 25 indoor butterfly atriums in the country, where the beautiful tropical creatures thrive year-round. Within the atrium, you’ll find butterflies from South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. There is also a chrysalis cabinet to view the beginning of the butterfly life cycle.
The butterfly wing also features 300 colorful tropical plant species, including an actual cocoa bean tree, and a soothing water feature. The atrium has a constant temperature of 78-82 degrees making it the perfect environment for both plants and butterflies to thrive.
With the advantage of 3 oversize 9′ x 22′ metal framed skylights on each wing, and a massive 22′ x 52′ glass atrium in the center, the entire conservatory is bathed in natural sunlight. And no matter what the weather, the conservatory is available to visitors allowing opportunities for education and entertainment.
“From the opening of the gardens going forward, Hershey Gardens will not close for a season,” Dan Babbit, Associate Director said, “ It will be open year-round, so we can be more available to schools and service a lot more school groups.”
Crystal Structures was thrilled to be a part of such a prestigious project. The history of Milton Hershey and the gardens made this opportunity truly special.