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Growing community through the unique combination of people, plants and place


The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance changes lives through the power of nature. We inspire, educate and provoke exploration through innovative programs and experiences in one of the nation’s largest and finest historic conservatories.





Following a devastating cold spell in the winter of 1994 which injured a significant portion of the aroid collection, the Chicago Park District convened a task force of representatives from various community, education, and environmental organizations. For six months, eighty individuals participated in the development of a plan to revitalize the Conservatory through new programs, visitor services, marketing and fundraising.


These activities would be carried out by a newly formed Alliance, a partnership of organizations which included the Chicago Park District, Friends of the Parks, and area schools, museums, conservation organizations and community groups.


The plan was subsequently funded by Lila-Wallace Reader's Digest Fund's Urban Parks Initiative which awarded a $1.46 million challenge grant. The grant requires a one to one match, at least 60% of which must come from private funds. The Chicago Park District has committed to the full 40% public sector match.




In early 1998, the Alliance filed for non-profit status and began the process of transitioning from a steering committee to a board of directors. Several subcommittees carry out specialized functions:


Community Relations Committee

Executive Committee

Finance Committee

Fundraising Committee.



Programs Committee


Urban Greening





The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is a diverse group of teachers and experts that join their talents to create programs and community workshops for the study and practical experience with plant science and horticulture.




The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is a member and donor supported project. Support for the Alliance makes the broad programming at the Conservatory possible. Here are some ways you can get involved:


Make a contribution that supports our programs. These programs give kids and adults unique experiences experiences with nature. Ask if your company has a matching gift program. This is an easy way to increase the impact of a gift.

Become a member of the Conservatory and get special invitations to events and exhibit previews.

Become a volunteer. The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the most interesting and beautiful places in Chicago to volunteer. It's like a trip to the tropics everyday!




The Garfield Park Conservatory and Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance are members of the City Parks Alliance, helping to keep our nation’s urban parks vibrant and healthy.


For information about volunteering
at the Conservatory, contact Mattie Wilson at (773) 638-1766 ext.26.


For information about membership or donations to the Alliance, contact Donor Services at (773) 638-1766 ext.13. All gifts are deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

GPCA Board Members Foundation, Corporate and Government Donors

Staff Directory



Institute of Museum and Library Services announced Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory as one of 10 recipients of the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The National Medal was presented at a celebration in Washington, D.C. on November 14, 2012. MORE