Rockford Park District officials recently dedicated the Eclipse Lagoon at the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. The Conservatory just celebrated its first year in Rockford. Since its opening, more than 50,000 people have walked through the doors.
The $13.5 million conservatory opened last October.
Ruth Miller is the conservatory's facility manager. When it opened, some were critical of the admission price. Miller defends the entry fee, and says she doesn't expect the admission cost to increase in the near future:
"We are providing free or low cost activities where we can, and as of right now, our numbers have been really good and rentals have been good, so revenues are coming in and we'll continue to assess this as we move forward and adjust accordingly."
- Ruth Miller
Miller says the Conservatory will continue to try to get financial support from donors for new exhibits and upkeep of the facility.
There is discussion to offer a senior discount. The 22,000 square foot facility is the third largest conservatory in Illinois.