We ask that all guests visit the Conservatory only with members of their immediate households, reserve tickets before visiting, and wear face coverings indoors and outdoors.

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About Us

Bringing people and plants together is our business.

The Conservatory offers numerous natural experiences for all ages to enjoy. Generations have been creating memories that last a lifetime since 1993.

Mission

Inspired by horticulture, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens elevates quality of life and connects the community through educational, cultural and social experiences.

Vision

A world that celebrates nature as essential to the human experience.

Overview

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is Central Ohio’s premier botanical garden and home to the iconic John F. Wolfe Palm House which dates back to 1895. Situated just east of Franklin Park, the Conservatory is approximately two miles from downtown Columbus.

The visitor experience spans about 13-acres and is comprised of the Conservatory building, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden and the Grand Mallway. The experience consists of botanical biomes, lush gardens, special horticulture and art exhibitions, and seasonal offerings. A collection of glass works by artist Dale Chihuly is also on display and included with admission.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Community Garden Campus is a sprawling 4-acre garden adjacent to the visitor experience that encompasses an apiary, rose pavilion, berry house and 40 community garden plots as well as, a demonstration kitchen and Live-Fire Cooking Theater. This area is open to the public at no charge from dawn until dusk.

Seasonal exhibitions currently include Orchids, and family favorites Blooms & Butterflies, Topiaries at the Conservatory and Conservatory Aglow. The Conservatory hosts special, temporary exhibitions by national and international artists each year.

A variety of special events and activities are available throughout the year, as well as, a full menu of classes, workshops and camps focusing on gardening, cooking, fine art and wellness.

With its natural surroundings, both indoors and out, the Conservatory serves as a premier venue for special events and corporate gatherings.

Community Outreach

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is located within a 88-acre City of Columbus Park that borders several historic neighborhoods. It was the site of the first Franklin County Fair and Ohio State Fair. The Palm House and Showhouse have been open to the Columbus community across three centuries. The Conservatory as it is today opened in 1993 and has since brought international artists and exhibitions to the city as well as welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors.

There is a historical and inextricable link to the community.

From President & CEO Bruce Harkey, “Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ mission is to improve quality of life and connect the community through nature. We strive to make our gardens a place where everyone can come together and share the beauty of the natural world. It is our promise to continue to create an experience that is safe and welcoming for everyone.”

Here are a few of the ways our mission is realized every day.

Community Days The Conservatory has offered free admission to residents of Franklin County between 10am and 5pm on the first Sunday of every month. Community Days ensure that all in the community, regardless of ability to pay, are welcome and have access to the Conservatory. Nearly 55,000 individuals have participated in the program since its inception in 2018. Access Memberships Reduced rate $35 Access Memberships are available for low-income families. Since 2017, the number of Access memberships has grown 190%. The standard Family Membership is $135. Access Admission Ticketing The Conservatory offers general admission and special engagement tickets for $3 to individuals and families who participate in SNAP, EBT, WIC, Medicaid or our Access Family Membership. Proof of participation will be required upon entrance. Nature Art Studio Field Trips In 2019, the Conservatory hosted 276 school field trips. However, due to school budget constraints, only 25 of these schools were from Columbus City Schools. Our donor-funded Field Trip Scholarship program addresses this disparity. In the fall of 2021, teachers may apply for a grant that will cover bus transportation, admission for students, teachers and chaperones and educational programming. To qualify, 70 percent of students must be eligible for free or reduced lunch. The program is available while funding lasts.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Library Memberships Conservatory membership cards are available for check-out at the Martin Luther King, Shepard and Driving Park branches of the Columbus Metropolitan Library providing families with free admission for two adults and up to six children. Over 4,300 adults and children have taken advantage of the program since it began in 2018.
Nationwide Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Partnership The Conservatory recently partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House to provide free admission for patients and their families.
Growing To Green The Growing to Green program has helped start, strengthen and sustain over 300 community gardens, school learning gardens and neighborhood beautification projects throughout central Ohio. With an emphasis on food access, nutrition, education, and bringing neighborhoods together, the program offers hands-on support through resources, seeds and supplies, site visits and grant assistance. Teen Corps A community-supported high-impact summer program for Columbus and Columbus City School teens designed to teach life and work skills through hands-on experiences in urban farming. While working in a garden to grow, produce and then selling it at the Conservatory’s Farmer’s Market, the teens will learn about horticulture, the environment, health and nutrition, entrepreneurship, and communication. During the 8 week program, participants will receive 20 hours per week paid work experience.
Fairchild Challenge This free, multidisciplinary, standards-based, STE(A)M-focused environmental education program for Middle School and High School classrooms is designed to engage students of diverse interests, encourage them to actively explore their world, and empower them to investigate local, national and international environmental issues.
Food Bank Partnerships The Conservatory’s own Community Garden Campus donates thousands of pounds of fresh
produce to area food pantries each year, and Growing to Green community gardens collectively provide approximately 60,000 pounds of produce to local food banks annually.
City Summer Camp Each summer, admission to the Conservatory is waived for Columbus Recreation & Parks campers from underserved neighborhoods. This partnership brought in 848 kids and 123 adult counselors over the 2019 summer through complimentary admission to self-guided visits. Non-Profit and Military Discounts Complimentary tickets and guest experience packages as well as discounted event space rentals are provided to local charitable organizations to help foster a robust nonprofit sector in Columbus. Active military also receive a discount on rentals and admission. Farmers' Market The Conservatory’s Farmers’ Market is open Wednesdays from June to September, providing
families in its near East side neighborhoods with access to fresh, local foods. The Market
accepts EBT and participates in Produce Perks, providing EBT users with matching funds
to spend on fresh produce.
Free Little Farmstand Growing an edible garden can often mean growing a surplus of a given item. The Free Little Farmstand was created as a way to swap and share what we grow in our gardens with each other! The stand provides free produce grown in the Teen Corps Garden, Community Garden Campus and Community Garden plot holders. Our neighbors and community members are welcome to enjoy the delicious and nutritious bounty! The Free Little Farmstand is located in the Community Garden Campus at the Conservatory and, like the rest of the Community Garden, is always free to the public.
Columbus Pride For the past several years, Conservatory staff have joined the Columbus Pride Festival and Parade.
Pollinator Palooza A free family event held in the Community Garden Campus designed to delight and educate visitors of all ages and celebrate the importance of pollinators. Over 1,200 attended in 2019.
ProMusica Summer Music Series A collaborative annual partnership that’s free and open to all, featuring a concert hosted in
the Conservatory’s beautiful Mallway amidst the gardens in full bloom. Due to the pandemic,
the series is under evaluation for 2021.
History Discover more about the history of the Conservatory. Learn More
Governance Information on our governing board, staff and operations. Learn More
Careers Take your passion for horticulture to the next level. Learn More

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