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 May

“Bugs!” Live Butterfly Exhibit

Through July 8

Visit the Botanical Conservatory for our 16th year of live butterflies and you can also explore the larger world of insects and their arthropod relatives. Thrill to the experience of entering our butterfly tent filled with over a hundred exotic butterflies as they feed, fly, and rest. These large and colorful creatures inspire awe by the delicate lives, aerial prowess, and complex metamorphosis. You will also discover a diversity of invertebrates in our live hallway display of such arthropods as beetles, spiders, mantids, and millipedes. Activity sheets encourage visitor inquiry. Regular admission applies: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17, free for children 2 and under. Sponsored by 97.3 WMEE, ABC21 WPTA, the Magee-O’Connor Foundation, and the Florence M. and Paul M. Staehl Foundation. For more information, call (260) 427-6440 or visit .

$1 Night

First Thursday of the month

May 3, 5 – 8 pm

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: Hissing Cockroaches

Thursday, May 3, 6 -7 pm

What is a Hissing Cockroach? Is it dangerous? Not at all! You won’t find these as a kitchen pest. Visit the Conservatory to meet these gentle bugs face to face. Find out where they come from, what they eat, how they live, and why they hiss. You can make a cockroach craft and enjoy a fun “buggy” treat, too! We’ll have live specimens of these sociable insects on display in our Bugs! exhibit, so you can get a good look at them.

Bonsai for Beginners

Saturday, May 5, 10:30 am – 12 pm

Are you ready to learn the secrets of the Bonsai masters? You, too, can discover them in this bonsai workshop where each participant will receive his or her very own small Ficus tree. Under the careful guidance of Darlene Kittle and Ed Hake from the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club, you will pot, trim, and begin forming it into a beautiful bonsai showpiece. Along the way, you will learn about the proper pots and soils to use, how to prune and wire your plant, and the techniques for giving it a long and healthy life. Participants may also be inspired by other examples, some of which are available in the Conservatory gift shop. Participants should bring their own pruners or scissors, all other supplies will be provided.

Age 10+. Min 10. Max 24. $29/person; $25/Conservatory member or volunteer. Registration code: 227014-S1.

Mother’s Day Plant Sale

Friday, May 11, 4 -7 pm

Saturday, May 12, 10 am – 5 pm

Sunday, May 13, 12 – 4 pm

McMillen Community Center, 3901 Abbott St.

Over 600 kinds of plants will be available for purchase from the Botanical Conservatory at our three-day public plant sale. You’ll find herbs, vegetable starts, and flowering perennials along with the usual great quality annuals, houseplants, mixed containers, hanging baskets, and bonsai. This year we are expanding our selection of locally-grown native plants, as well. All of our beautiful and sturdy plants are locally grown and sold as a fundraiser to help support the Conservatory. Shop early for the best selection. Volunteers are available to assist with plant selection and loading, including specialists in native plants, herbs, and bonsai. There is plenty of free parking. Conservatory members can enjoy the preview sale on Thursday, May 10, 4 – 7 pm. Memberships will be available for purchase that evening for those who want to join in order to get the first peek. Visit for a list of plants intended for sale. For more information, please call (260) 427-6440. Sponsored by WAJI Majic 95.1.

Mother’s Day in the Garden

Sunday, May 13, 12 – 4 pm

Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

Treat Mom to a special outing at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory on Mother’s Day. By “Mom” we mean your mother, of course, but also grandmas, aunts, and anyone else who means “MOM” to you! Your mom will enjoy the beautiful displays of flowers, browsing in the Conservatory Gift Shop, and the chance to take a turn in our live butterfly exhibit. Each mom will receive a special Mother’s Day plant while supplies last. Regular Conservatory admission applies. Sponsored by WAJI Majic 95.1.

Spring Forest Bathing Walk

Thursday, May 17, 6 – 7:30 pm

Spring is in the air, so what better time to get down to the gardens for forest bathing? 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 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. Note: If we meet our registration minimum, additional students may drop in for the session, up to the class maximum. Drop-ins shouldcall ahead to make sure class will be in session. Registration deadline: May 10. All ages are welcome, but children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Min 5. Max 15. $14/person; $11/Conservatory member or volunteer. To register, call (260) 427-6000 or go to and refer to code 227055-R3.

Spring Bonsai Show & Discount Day

Saturday, May 26, 10 am – 3 pm

Explore a forest of miniature trees carefully trained and pruned by members of our local bonsai club. Elms, maples, junipers and other familiar plants look just like their outdoor cousins – but a fraction of their size! The club also grows tropical bonsai. Learn about the fascinating hobby or just enjoy “a stroll in the forest.” Bonsai pots and young plants will be available to purchase. All guests visiting this day will get a special discount for admission to the Bonsai Show and Conservatory gardens: $3/adult, $2/child, Free for ages 2 and under. For more information, call (260) 427-6440. Sponsored by the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club.

Garden Close-Up: Birds, Bats, Bees and Butterflies!

Saturday, May 26, 11 am – 1 pm

What do birds, bats, bees and butterflies all have in common? There are actually several things! At this special learning station, we will explore the world of these four amazing creatures, their similarities and differences. We will also learn how important they are to our world here and abroad. You can get up close and personal with some of these creatures when you visit our live butterfly exhibit or view our observation beehive. Then, make your own beautiful “B” creature to take home.

Iris Flower Show & Discount Day

Sunday, May 27, 12 – 3 pm

One of America’s favorite garden flowers takes center stage during the annual Iris Show. Local gardeners will bring the best of their iris blooms to be displayed and judged. A glorious range of colors, some fragrance, and a variety of forms will be found in irises displayed as individual cut flowers and in floral arrangements. Entries are judged for their perfection. Special discounted admission price includes the Iris Show and Conservatory gardens: $3/adult, $2/child, Free for ages 2 and under. For more information, call (260) 427-6440. Sponsored by the Northeast Indiana Iris Society.