WHITE PLAINS – The Lasdon Glass House Conservatory will open with a celebration of the rainforest Saturday and Sunday, Jun. 17 and 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial in Somers.
“The newest attraction to our parks system is a unique and important educational and recreational asset for Westchester,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “This will be one of the great destinations in our county where families can go to learn about nature, relax in the natural environment and also have fun. The conservatory is also a good example of the success that can happen when public-private partnerships are allowed to flourish.”
The 2,500-square-foot, 28- foot-high, glass and steel building is similar in design to the New York Botanical Gardens conservatory in the Bronx.
The first exhibit of the Lasdon Conservatory will be “The Rainforest: Tropical Treasures.” Visitors will walk on a simulated forest floor surrounded by lush vegetation, as drops of water slowly drip from the tapered leaves of low growing trees and vines and the air is heavy with moisture.
They will be surrounded by green vegetation punctuated by brightly colored orchids and bromeliads growing from tree cavities and along low branches. In the background visitors will also hear the screeches, cries and calls of animals and birds as they move through their ancient, ancestral homes.
The grand opening weekend program includes face painting, balloons and bracelet making. Food will be available at the Lasdon Café for purchase from Tastefully Yours caterers and Kona Ice will sell delicious frozen treats.
The New York State Department of Environmental Protection will distribute information about the environment on Saturday and there will be a special art exhibit in the Main House all weekend. The Shop at Lasdon will also be open for gift purchases and more.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children age 12 and under. Fees include admission to the arboretum and conservatory exhibit.
The conservatory will feature horticultural exhibits and will be used for class trips and tours, music performances, weddings and other social events. It will provide needed space to expand Lasdon’s current public programming such as concerts and the holiday shows that have become a tradition at the park.
Construction of the conservatory began in Jun 2016. Westchester County allocated more than $1.3 million to the project from its capital program.
The conservatory was also made possible by nearly a decade of fundraising and sponsorships through the Friends of Lasdon in conjunction with the County Parks department. Net proceeds from train shows, concerts and various fundraisers generated over $700,000.
The Lasdon Family Foundation, The Stephen Bolinck Estate, the 9th District Federated Garden Clubs of New York State and the Westchester Parks Foundation also contributed significant funds to the project.
The exhibit is partially funded by A-Team Construction, Avangrid, BAI Drinks, Northern Westchester Hospital, SavAtree Inc., Westfair Electric, Rough Bros., Prospero Nursery, Houlihan Lawrence, Opici Wines, and Party Line Rentals.
Lasdon Park, Arboretum, and Veterans Memorial, a Westchester County Park, is located on Route 35 in Somers. (GPS 2610 Amawalk Rd., Katonah.)
For information on Lasdon and all Westchester County Parks go to parks.westchestergov.com.