by Connie Oswald Stofko
During the recent Snowvember storm, the wind and the weight of the snow broke 150 panes of glass in two greenhouses at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.
The storm destroyed 154 plants indoors. It will cost roughly $6,000 to replace them. That’s not taking into account damage done to plants outside.
But you can help by making a monetary donation today.
Not only did the Botanical Gardens lose plants in the storm, it lost revenue, making it that much harder to maintain and enhance the collection, explained David J. Swartz, president and CEO.
The storm closed down the Botanical Gardens for several days, so there was no revenue from admissions or from sales in the gift shop on those days. Staff spent time cleaning up the debris before the site could reopen to visitors, so salaries had to be paid on days when there was no revenue coming in.
Your gift can help. You can give online or mail a check to Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc., Attn: Development Department, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo, NY 14218.
Here are four more ways your gift can help the Botanical Gardens:
Create a stunning entrance garden.
The Botanical Gardens has been chosen as a site for a Proven Winners Signature Garden. The Botanical Gardens will be working closely with Proven Winners to install plantings that will create exciting new gardens along the front walkway.
But those gardens need to be maintained, and an underground watering system is needed to ensure that the gardens look their best. That will cost about $5,000 or $6,000, Swartz said. Your donation can help that project.
Buy plants for the outdoor healing garden
A Medicinal Garden was created inside the Botanical Gardens a couple years ago and work began this summer on the outdoor Healing Garden. Both aim to give visitors a better understanding of the importance of medicinal plants and how the plants are used in traditional, herbal and modern medicines.
Plants to go into the outdoor garden still need to be purchased for planting this spring.
Restore the domes
While the plants and the programs are a draw for gardeners, the amazing architecture is an integral part of the experience at the Botanical Gardens.
Two of the domes– the Palm Dome or main dome, and the dome in House 11, which you see on your left as you approach the building– need paint and restoration work on the exterior. So far, $110,000 has been raised and $15,000 more is needed, Swartz said.
The Palm Dome had been restored in 2002 and the dome in House 11 had been restored in 2007, but since then, the paint has worn off and the exterior is deteriorating, he said. It’s important to maintain the building because it houses the plants, but it’s important in its own right.
“With its 19th century Victorian design, it’s an iconic structure,” Swartz said. “It’s a treasure. We want to make sure it lasts another 114 years.”
Help programs grow
The good news is that programs at the Botanical Gardens are growing. A group of 11 volunteers recently graduated after undertaking three months of training to become docents. Attendance is increasing.
But all that participation has a flip side, Swartz said.
“As participation rises, so do expenses,” he noted.
If you enjoy the exhibits, events, classes and workshops of the Botanical Gardens, you can help make sure they continue by making a gift.
Go to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens’ website and click “Support” to see more ways you can help.