The Springfield Park District has received a grant of $370,000 from the Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant Program. The grant will go towards the Washington Park Botanical Garden Conservatory Dome Replacement project, a $750,000 project that will significantly improve the beauty and efficiency of the botanical garden.
The Conservatory Dome, which was constructed in 1971, is a vital horticultural tourism attraction in Springfield and the surrounding communities. The dome currently hosts 150 species of native and exotic plants and attracts roughly 60,000 patrons annually, including various celebrations such as weddings, receptions, bridal and baby showers, anniversaries, proposals, and birthday parties.
The Conservatory Dome replacement project will include the demolition of the current acrylic Conservatory Dome and the construction of a new one that is the same size and shape within the same location. Additionally, the entryway windows will be replaced, and all heating and cooling systems will be upgraded.
The Springfield Park District’s application was selected for an award through a competitive process, which required demonstrating how the award would help businesses in the surrounding area, as well as the project’s ability to attract visitors for overnight stays.