The Oak Park Conservatory was started as a community effort in 1914 with plants from around the world, brought back by residents. (Customs inspections were different then). Today, it has 8,000 square feet of growing areas, making it the third largest conservatory in the Chicago area. More than 16,000 people visit the Conservatory each year, and the number of educational programs continues to grow. It is often used as a meeting place for Chicago area plant enthusiasts, including the begonia, gesneriad, and cactus and succulent societies.
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