Greenhouse & Conservatory Renovation Initiative | Plant Biology

Southern Illinois University



College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences

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Plant Biology Greenhouse and Conservatory Renovation

The Plant Biology Greenhouse and Conservatory is slated for major renovation beginning spring 2016.  The greenhouse has served the teaching, research, and service missions of the Plant Biology program (College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences) for >75 years.  During that time, the greenhouse facility has operated with the original utilities with only modest repairs.  All greenhouse operations are currently managed manually by the two greenhouse staff and student workers.   With an aging steam heat system and lacking a functional cooling system, maintaining the unique growing conditions required for the diverse plant collections has been a continual challenge.  Given the need for repair and renovation, the State of Illinois committed funds to support the renovation efforts. 

The renovation would provide automated control of heating and cooling systems and add emergency backups.  The renovation would bring the greenhouse into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act so that we can more effectively serve students and visitors with special needs. 

Unfortunately, during the planning and design phase of the project, it became clear that the scope of repair and renovation needed would cost much more than the amount committed by the state.  

The goal

Time has taken a greater toll on the greenhouse that was originally recognized.  With a critical shortfall in the budget, the entire repair and renovation project is in jeopardy.  An infusion of additional funds is needed to support the project.  To help overcome this budget shortfall, the Department of Plant Biology has committed to raising an additional $250,000.  The Department will commit $200,000 of these funds to the planned repair and renovation effort.  The remaining $50,000 will be used to create an area within the greenhouse dedicated to education and outreach. 

The opportunities

The Plant Biology program welcomes any contributions that will help us meet our fundraising goal.  All donors will be recognized in displays in the department and greenhouse, as well as in selected web and print materials distributed by the department.  The Department will also provide specific recognition for larger contributions, listing those donors in the following categories.

Friends $250
Supporters $1000
Sponsors $2500
Patrons $5000

Donors at the Sponsor or Patron levels may have the opportunity to have their name associated with one of the four houses that comprise the greenhouse complex, the greenhouse display bed, or the new education/outreach space.  Please call us if you’d like to learn more.  


Clicking THIS LINK will take you to the page listing the Plant Biology program Funds. Here you can select the Plant Biology Greenhouse and Conservatory Renovation Fund. When you click "Continue", you will be redirected to the Southern Illinois University Foundation’s secure Online Giving site that will accept your personal information, credit card number, etc.