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Celebrate Wright Park conservator’s centennial

Post by News Tribune Staff on Aug. 13, 2008 at 12:39 pm with No Comments »
August 13, 2008 12:39 pm

Metro Parks Tacoma is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Wright Park with a public event Saturday.

A 5-kilometer race will begin the celebration. Organizers are offering guided tours, walking tours, refreshments and turn-of-the-(20th)-century games like croquet. The event runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Victorian-style glass house opened in 1908 after William W. Seymour – then president of what is today Metro Parks – donated $10,000. According to a release, the conservatory is a 12-sided dome with more than 3,000 panes of glass. Inside, more than 250 species are on display.

Click below to read the press release:

Celebrate 100 years at Tacoma’s original house of glass this weekend

W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory to host community centennial celebration

Long before Tacoma developed a reputation as a community of glass artistry, the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory began wowing visitors with its gorgeous Victorian-style glass architecture and rare botanical collection. On Saturday August 16, Metro Parks will host a special community event at Wright Park from 10-2pm, as part of a year-long celebration of the conservatory’s centennial.

The conservatory opened in 1908, just one year after the Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma was formed as the first independent park agency in Washington State. Funding was provided through a generous $10 thousand gift from William W. Seymour, President of the Metropolitan Park Board who later served as Mayor of Tacoma. The twelve-sided dome and more than 3,000 panes of glass create a spectacular showcase for the vivid colors and fragrant scents created by the conservatory’s collection of more than 250 plant species.


9am Green Thumb Run and Kids Dash

Participants are strongly urged to pre-register for the run; in honor of the centennial, registration will be limited to the first 100 runners. A limited number of on-site registrations will be processed on Saturday between 7-8am.

The return of the Green Thumb Run, a 5K fun run taking place on the newly restored paths that weave throughout the multi-million dollar bond improvements completed earlier this year at Wright Park. Keeping with the Green theme, the timing system will be powered by Solar Richard.

Fee: $10: includes a commemorative centennial tee-shirt.

Awards will be presented following the race

10am-2pm Fun stuff to experience:

Inside the Conservatory: Docents will be on hand to answer questions as you enjoy a self-guided tour of the conservatory. The glass exhibition “Sky Ponds” by Joe Miller of M-Space is currently complementing conservatory’s collection and floral exhibits.

Walking Tours – guests are invited to take a historic walking tour with Metro Parks’ Historian Melissa McGinnis, or to learn more about the park’s State Champion trees on a tour with Urban Forester Kathy Sutalo. Signed copies of the new book co-authored by McGinnis, Tacoma’s Wright Park, will be available for purchase.

Information Booths – Learn more about your favorite flora and fauna from the Heritage Rose and Orchid Society’s, Master Gardeners, or be among the lucky 100 visitors who will have a chance to plant a lemon seed from the conservatory’s popular Lemon Tree.

Games and Activities – Experience what it was like to play in the park during the early 1900s as you try your hand at period games including Lawn Bowling, horseshoes and croquet.

Refreshments — will be served following welcoming remarks from Park Board President Victoria Woodards and Mayor Bill Baarsma at 11:30.

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