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The University of Wyoming Williams Conservatory recently launched a You Fund campaign to raise money for facility improvements and some plant replacement.
The goal is to raise $1,650 or more by April 15 for the construction of two large indoor succulent and cacti beds, and for the purchase of replacement succulent plants, says Meredith Pratt, conservatory manager.
Custom-built indoor beds would provide a more natural and aesthetic display, and would include plant information signs for self-guided tours.
Conservatory staff members would like to purchase succulent plants to replace those they have used repeatedly for outreach activities with small groups. When educating visitors about different types of plant reproduction, they harvest leaves from the succulents so that adults and children can take them home to try to grow a plant.
Any additional money raised from the campaign will go toward creating more workshops that will be available for the community throughout the year, Pratt says.
Housed within the Department of Botany, the Williams Conservatory is located adjacent to the Aven Nelson Building. Since opening in 1994, the conservatory has served as a center of education, research and outreach for UW students, faculty and staff members, Laramie community members and other visitors.
“From the second we walked into the conservatory, you could hear the students say, ‘Wow, look at that!’ or ‘Woo, this is cool!’ To every teacher, that is music to our ears,” says Janelle Still, lower elementary teacher at Laramie Montessori School.
The conservatory also provides a tranquil environment for the community.
“We have two bistro tables with chairs and encourage individuals to use them for studying, meeting with friends or taking a moment for themselves during a hectic day in a warm, tropical environment,” Pratt says.
The conservatory is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
For more information about the fundraising campaign, visit www.uwyo.edu/youfund.