Let me start this post by saying that admission for this place is the best $3 I've ever spent.
After winter storm Stella brought her wrath down on Rochester everyone has been pretty cooped up for the better part of a week. I needed some warm air, sun, and flowers to keep me going. Short of a plane ticket south, this is the best way I could think to spend my morning. Besides, I figured that a bunch of you North-Easterners were probably feeling the same way. I've snapped some photos to share with this post in hopes of brightening everyone up a bit! For my southern friends, we are envious. Also, I bet at least half of us are booking flights to come visit you right now. We apologize in advance for the tourist mayhem this causes. We're cold and crazy. Please forgive us.
Lamberton Conservatory was built in 1911 in homage to Alexander B. Lamberton by his relatives. Lamberton was the President of the Parks Board from 1902 - 1915. The addition of the conservatory during his presidency further boosted Highland Park's already nationally renown horticulture status. It also gives me a warm and cozy place to be with nature in the dead of Rochester's winter. So thank you for that, too Mr. Lamberton.
I had never been to the Conservatory before today. Living so much closer to downtown makes amazing places like this so much more accessible during day-to-day life. I'm quite happy to be close to it. I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived, but I wasn't disappointed.
It might sound crazy, but being close to living plants and nature makes me calmer, happier and an overall better human. There is something intangible but incredibly good for the soul near nature. I've felt stressed out and disconnected since the weather got bad this week. Sitting in the conservatory gardens while listening to the waterfalls and watching the quail wobble around the cobblestone paths totally cured me of those feelings. Leaving, I felt like I could breath again for the first time in awhile. It didn't even phase me that I was walking past giant snow banks on my way back to the car. I was lighter and I was happy.
Believe it or not, there is science to back up the feeling of "peace" and "wholeness" I felt after spending time in the garden. There are many studies that have shown that gardening and spending time in nature can significantly improve your physical and mental well-being. From Alzheimer's and depression, to heart disease and cancer, there are correlations between time spent near nature and risk reduction. So, for those of you who are close to Rochester and dreaming of spring, I highly suggest grabbing three dollars and heading over to the Lamberton Conservatory at Highland Park this weekend. It is beautiful, peaceful, and good for you! Not bad for only 12 quarters! Tell Lucky, the wonderful and rather pampered queen duck that I say hi.