June 17 marks a momentous day for nature lovers in the Hudson Valley: After a decade in production, Lasdon Park and Arboretum debuts its much-anticipated Glass House Conservatory.
The 2,500 sq ft, glass-and-steel structure — designed by the illustrious Rough Brothers, Inc., the same construction firm that created the New York Botanical Gardens, the US Arboretum, and London’s Royal Botanical Gardens — is “like a mini-botanical gardens,” says Westchester County Parks Deputy Commissioner Peter Tartaglia.
The facility’s premiere exhibit, titled The Rainforest: Tropical Treasures, “is a collection of tropical treasures, with different plant species and explanations of what they are and their importance in the ecosystem,” says Tartaglia. “We also have all sorts of events on the opening weekend, like face-painting for the kids.”
In addition to the exotic plants representing the sights of a rainforest, the exhibit features characteristic sounds amid the flora and fauna, including waterfalls, jaguars, and even poison dart frogs.
“It looks like it really belongs here,” Tartaglia says of the Glass House Conservatory, which will also house events such as weddings, concerts, and holiday shows. “It adds a special element to the park.”
With $1.3 million in subsidies kicked in by the county, the conservatory marks the first of its kind in the region. Tartaglia believes it will draw not only Westchester County residents but also visitors from other parts of the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Connecticut.