Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

What’s Happening At The Botanical Conservatory In October

$1 Night

First Thursday of the month

October 5, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The Conservatory is open on the first Thursday night of the month for a discounted admission of just $1 per person. During each $1 Night you can also drop in to our program room for a fun and educational lecture or activity. No reservations required. We validate parking tickets from the Civic Center Parking Garage for free parking. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

$1 Night Insight: Mustard Tasting

Thursday, October 5, 5:30 -7:30 p.m.

During our Blumengarten exhibit, we want to bring German culinary culture to life! And mustard, so popular in German culture, will enliven your mouth as you sample different varieties, from mild to hot. Join members of the Fort Wayne Herb Gardeners Club for a mustard tasting and pick up recipes and ideas for using this versatile condiment. Activity included in your $1 Night admission fee. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

A Twist You Can’t Resist

Saturday, October 7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join instructor Lori Berndt, owner of The Olive Twist, for an Olive Oil 101 Class where you will explore and learn more about one of our favorite foods. Lori will demonstrate techniques for cooking with olive oil and show how to choose among oils at the grocery store, making educated choices for your family. Food samples included! For inspiration afterwards, visit the Conservatory’s olive trees in the Mediterranean Garden. Ages 15+. Registration deadline: September 30. Min. 8. Max. 36. $14/person; $11/Conservatory member or volunteer. To register, call (260) 427-6000 or go online to and refer to code 427062-R1.

German Twin Choral Concert

Sunday, October 8, 2:00-3:30 pm

Visit the Conservatory gardens and celebrate our German twin city – Gera – with a lively afternoon concert of German song presented by Fort Wayne’s world-traveled twin chorale of Männerchor and Damenchor (the men’s and ladies’ choirs). This joint club preserves the German heritage that runs in the blood of a large percent of Fort Wayne’s population. The lyrics are German, but you’ll get the gist as choral director Tom Remenschneider introduces each piece. In addition, local author and German native Christel Gehlert will relate the story of how our Sister City relationship emerged after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and how that friendship was cemented by the sharing of song. The first 100 will receive a free vinyl decal to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our twinning with Gera, Germany. Concert included in regular Conservatory admission: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17.

Garden Preschool: Fall Edition

Tuesdays, October 10, 17 & 24, 10:00-11:00 am

Join us this fall as we have fun and explore the colors of the autumn season. Parents or guardians will assist children side by side in this class that encourages the basics of exploring nature at a young age. Master Gardener Kay Musgrave has years of experience working with children in this type of setting and will take everyone on a new nature adventure each week. Children will explore the colors of red, yellow, and orange through hands-on activities. At least one adult is required to stay and participate (no registration required) for the duration of the class with their child. Ages 3 – 5. Registration deadline: October 3. Min.5. Max. 10. $18/person; $15/Conservatory member or volunteer. To register, call (260) 427-6000 or go online to and refer to code 427054-T1.

The Punkin’ Path garden display

October 10-29

Come and visit our outdoor Punkin’ Path where you can enjoy the fall surroundings and take festive pictures with your little ones. The path will be decorated with pumpkins, gourds, bales of straw – and gnomes! – to provide fun photo memories. Gnomes, or more properly Gartenzwerge or “garden dwarves,” are caretakers of land and animals; they are industrious, enjoy all kinds of games and, surprisingly, they love to travel! Watch for them along the Punkin’ Path. This exhibit is included in Conservatory admission and open during public hours. $5/adult, $3/child; ages 2 and under free. Sponsored by Fun 101.7 FM. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

Make & Take: Essential Oils

Saturday, October 12, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

In need of some rejuvenation and wanting to become more familiar with essential oils? Come participate in this workshop where you will learn what essential oils are, where they come from, how to use them, and why they are amazing. Instructor Samantha Reitman is an independent distributor of Young Living and has been using essential oils daily for over 3 years. She will teach how you can improve your well-being by making some amazing products. In October, you will create relaxing bath salts along with a joint care roller bottle. All supplies are included in registration fee. Ages 15+. Registration deadline: October 2, respectively. Min. 10. Max. 36. $18/person; $15/Conservatory member or volunteer. To register, call (260) 427-6000 or go online to and refer to code 427064-S1.

Dahlias – Food, Flower, and Germany

Thursday, October 19, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Looking for a hearty flower that blooms all summer long? Then you might just want to pick up some dahlias next time you are at your local greenhouse or plant sale. They are not only beautiful, but also edible! If you want to learn a little more about this magnificent flower before you buy it then join Rusty Ritchie, Elkhart Dahlia Society President, to get some important insight first. There are many exciting facts about this flower that you would find helpful in growing them each year. We even have a dahlia garden, as a part of our Blumengarten, for you to admire while at the Conservatory. Ages 15+. Registration deadline: October 12. Min. 8. Max. 36. $8/person; $5/Conservatory member or volunteer. To register, call (260) 427-6000 or go online to and refer to code 427067-R1.

Pumpkin Zone

Saturday, October 21, 10:00am – 3:00pm

Enjoy an autumn celebration at the Botanical Conservatory! Children and their adults will explore the gardens for fall crafts, activities, and games. Test your observation skills with the Gnome Search, discover whether pumpkins float or sink, nibble on pumpkin seeds, and decorate your own mini pumpkin. Friends from the Allen County Farm Bureau will help us learn about pumpkins and how they grow. The Conservatory is proud to offer Pumpkin Zone as a part of the Downtown Improvement District’s Fright Night festivities. Regular Conservatory admission applies: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17, free for children 2 and under. For more information, call (260) 427-6440. Sponsored by Fun 101.7 FM.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Saturday, October 21

Doors open 8:00 pm; Movie 9:15 pm

Let’s do the time warp agaaaaain! As a part of the Downtown Improvement District’s Fright Night the Conservatory will once again spin the tale of Brad and Janet on a rainy night sheltered by the bizarre Dr. Frank N. Furter. This cult classic movie will be shown outside on the Terrace, weather permitting; please dress accordingly. Please do not bring outside food or beverage as there will be refreshments available for purchase. This movie is participatory in tradition and content may not be suitable for all/younger audiences. Rated R; children under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. $2/adult, $1/age 17 and under. Please, no rice or confetti. No reservations necessary. For more information, call (260) 427-6440 or visit our website at

Forest Bathing Walk (Shinrin-Yoku)

Thursday, October 26, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is the experience of immersing oneself in the sensory gifts of nature. This can be done in a forest setting, but also in gardens and parks. The benefits are not only a greater sense of well-being, but a boost in immune function and ready access to lower stress hormones and boosts in serotonin levels. This is not your regular walk in the park, but a series of invitations using the senses to rediscover your inner child and your connection with the natural world. Being relaxed, revitalized, and better equipped to handle the stresses of daily living are the goals of this forest bathing walk. Instructor Christy Thomson is a life-long resident of northeast IN. She is the only certified forest therapy guide in Indiana and is thrilled to share this opportunity with the Fort Wayne community. Ages 18+. Registration deadline: October 19. Min. 5. Max. 15. $15/person; $12/Conservatory member or volunteer. To register, call (260) 427-6000 or go online to and refer to code 427051-R2.

Family Garden Close-Up: Creepy Critters

Saturday, October 28, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Visit the Botanical Conservatory on the fourth Saturday to get a closer look at our plants and gardens with an exploratory walk, hands-on activity or demonstration. We highlight a different garden each month so you can make new discoveries through fun, educational activities. At the end of October, our minds may think of “creepy critters”. What makes a critter creepy? Join us this month as we learn about bats and spiders and why some think that they are creepy. We will also learn about some of the spiders and bats found in our area. You can make and take home a “creepy critter,” if you like. Included in your regular Conservatory admission. Call (260) 427-6440 for more information.

Fantastic Fall Flowers

Saturday, October 28, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Fall has finally arrived and what better way to celebrate this festive time of year than by making special centerpiece to liven up your table. Join instructor Dawn Mahan, who has worked as a florist for 39 years, as she teaches you how to put a simple centerpiece together. It will consist of different mums and greenery, so bring a friend and come enjoy this workshop! Ages 15+. Registration deadline: October 20. Min. 15. Max. 25. $25/person; $22/Conservatory member or volunteer. To register, call (260) 427-6000 or go online to and refer to code 427066-S1.

Kathryn Clark: Watercolor, Graphite, Oil Painting

Through October 28

Kathryn Clark was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, and received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fine Art. In 1971, she and her husband founded Twinrocker Handmade Paper and were central to the revival of handmade paper in America. When Twinrocker Handmade Paper started making watercolor paper in 1985, Kathryn began painting in watercolors to test the papers. She soon fell in love with the medium and has been painting ever since. Today, Kathryn exhibits art works in watercolor, graphite, and more recently oil. She was voted an artist member of the Indiana Artists Club, the Brown County Art Guild in Nashville, IN, Oil Painters of America, the American Impressionist Society, and the Hoosier Salon. She’s also won awards in juried exhibitions at the Hoosier Salon, Indiana Heritage Arts, Indiana Artists Club, and more.

Blumengarten: A German Story

Through November 12

From summer to fall we celebrate our German twin, the city of Gera, with a special garden. The Showcase will present five aspects, including a dahlia garden, casual biergarten, and practical cottage garden, to introduce visitors to Germany through its natural spaces. In addition, a gallery exhibit of artifacts will provide Conservatory guests a little more taste for the history of Thuringia, “the green heart of Germany,” where Gera is located. Established in medieval times but influenced by the modern era, Gera is different than familiar Bavaria. Explore the culture of central Germany with interpretive displays spotlighting their respect for both nature and history. Additional programs will be offered throughout the length of this exhibit to help Fort Wayne discover more about Gera, our German sister city since 1992. Sponsored by WAJI Majic 95.1, ABC21 WPTA, the M.E. Raker Foundation, Wilson Foundation, and Auer Foundation.