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Pittsburgh’s premier public garden opens doors on March 1, 2012—free of charge!

Phipps conservatory in Pittsburgh

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Pittsburgh, Pa. Thanks to the generosity of the Jack Buncher Foundation, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will once again open its doors for Free Admission Day on Thurs., March 1, 2012. Community members of all ages are encouraged to come out between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on this special day to experience the beauty of one of Pittsburgh’s most beloved natural and cultural gems.

Guests who attend this year’s Jack Buncher Foundation Free Admission Day will experience a number of botanical delights. Showcasing some of the most unique and spectacular specimens in Phipps’ collections, the annual Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show will give visitors a close-up look at the different styles of bonsai, as well as a chance to learn practical tips for growing orchids at home. Not to be outdone, the public garden’s brand new Tropical Forest India exhibit—featuring an Ayurvedic healing garden, spice and tea market displays, a field research station, and an authentic temple façade on Special Events Hall—is sure to add even more excitement to a family-friendly day trip.
Free Admission Day guests are also invited to step out onto the terrace of the Tropical Forest Conservatory to view history in the making at the construction site of Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a new research, education and administrative complex opening in spring 2012. Slated to be one of the greenest buildings on Earth, this revolutionary structure—designed and built by Pittsburghers and Pennsylvanians—will generate all of its own energy; and capture, treat and reuse all water on site.

“Once again, the Jack Buncher Foundation has given Phipps, and the public, a wonderful gift by opening our doors for as many people as possible to experience the beauty of our gardens,” says Richard Piacentini, executive director of Phipps. “We cannot thank the foundation enough for making this opportunity available through their generous support.”
For those looking to enhance their afternoon out, Café Phipps will also be open for lunch and healthy snacks. Showcasing creative dishes that are good for both people and the planet, and a fun kid’s menu that features dishes like Organic Peanut Butter and Organic Fresh Berries on Whole Grain Bread, the café is a great place to begin or end a visit to Phipps. More about visitor amenities at the Conservatory can be found by visiting or by calling 412/622-6914.


Built by Henry W. Phipps in 1893 at the height of Pittsburgh’s industrial prowess, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has evolved from the nation’s first teaching conservatory to a distinguished eco-champion among America’s 500 public gardens.

Phipps’ mission is to inspire and educate visitors with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and worldwide biodiversity through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse.

Phipps is open daily from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fridays until 10 p.m. Adults, $12; Seniors 62 and older and students with valid ID, $11; children 2-18, $9; children under 2, free.

For more information, call 412/622-6914 or visit

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