Plant Conservatory


The Plant Conservatory is a 1,375 square foot greenhouse used as a living laboratory for many Plant Science courses. The conservatory features a variety of tropical and subtropical plants as well as plants common to the interior spaces of shopping malls, hotels, and offices. Paths meander through the greenhouse along a small pond and stream leading to a waterfall at the back. Orchids, palms, bromeliads, begonias, and foliage plants fill the greenhouse. In the winter months, the conservatory provides a green haven from the cold winter.


The conservatory is located in the greenhouse range, adjacent to Hodder Hall and open to the public during the following times:


School year: Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm

Summer:  Monday - Friday, 7 am - 3:30 pm


We are moving!


The new Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources building will be completed this summer. The Plant Science program will be moving from Hodder Hall and the current greenhouses into the brand new facility next door.


The old complex was completed in 2 stages: the first was opened in 1966 and the second portion in 1968. After more than 45 years of service, we will say goodbye to our well-used facility and welcome this exciting new opportunity. We will have brand new, state-of-the-art, conservatory greenhouse to move into starting this summer.


The design team of Prof. Chris Cash, Prof. Tim Marten, Mr. Steve Mullarkey, and Prof. Terry Forsyth were given a charge to design a new conservatory to house the various tropical, subtropical, cacti/succulent and aquatic plant collections. This area will serve as a place for socialization, relaxation, entertainment, community involvement, and a campus tour destination. It will provide an enriching experience for all of the senses and showcase features that are used in landscapes, gardens and greenhouses across the country. The new conservatory will provide an opportunity to expose a wide range of audiences to plants, the plant science programs and SUNY Cobleskill as a whole.


The College Foundation/Office for Advancement, headed by Lois Goblet, is spearheading efforts to secure funding for the various parts of the conservatory project.


Proposed Conservatory click for larger image


Proposed design features of the new conservatory include:


1. A 17’ wide by 12’ tall rain wall/water curtain falling into a waterless pool.


2. A 12’ by 15’ open space for tour groups and classes.


3. Adjacent to the open space is a planting space to contain the orchid and bromeliad collections. An artificial orchid tree will be constructed to grow and display the epiphytic orchids and  bromeliads.


4. An 8’ by 12’ by 9’ walk through masonry structure supporting a pool, plant materials, and two  waterfalls. Visitors will be able to walk under the water and look out through the two waterfalls.


5. The 2 waterfalls drop into pools that will grow aquatic plants and koi fish.


6. Off one of the pools will be a native bog plants and carnivorous plants  growing area.


7. A 15’ wide by 12’ tall green wall featuring the Cobleskill tiger mascot. A green wall is a vertical growing structure of living plants. Companies have used these as living billboards.


8. Separate bed spaces to provide the specialized environment for cacti and succulent plant materials. 


9. Beds spaces to grow tropical and sub-tropical plants.


10. The walkways will be edged with stone blocks -1 block tall with a bluestone capstone.


11. Benches will be located for patrons to relax and experience the conservatory.


12. A mist cooling system to control the temperature and humidity levels. It will also provide special effects to enhance the plant environment experience.


13. A lighting system using LED lighting technology to provide energy efficiency and programmable lighting effects – it can also be used to educate students in the newest technology used in the landscape and night lighting industries.


14. A sound system including speakers and portable microphones to aid in tours and classroom instruction. It could also be used to provide background tropical forest sounds and background music.


15. Areas to display art work and sculptures.


16. Signage to educate students and the public about the specialized plants featured in the conservatory.