[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Iowa State University nameplate

News Service
Gold bar
Today's News
News releases
ISU homepage


Murray Blackwelder, External Affairs, (515) 294-7730
Teresa McLaughlin, Reiman Gardens, (515) 294-4412
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- Here's good news for all those looking forward to an early spring stroll through the Reiman Gardens at the entrance of the Iowa State University campus: You'll be able to do so without paying an admission fee.

Roy and Bobbi Reiman have volunteered to make an additional contribution that will keep the gardens admission free until the opening of a new conservatory and butterfly house, Murray Blackwelder, Iowa State vice president for external affairs, announced today.

"The Reimans asked to meet with us regarding the admission fee at the gardens this spring," said Blackwelder. "They fully understood our need for funds to cover what will soon be a sizeable operating budget.

"When the new conservatory and butterfly wing opens next year, this could soon become one of the biggest tourist sites in Iowa," Blackwelder added. "It will require a large staff and a lot of maintenance. We need to start staffing up now, so that schedules and programs will all be in order."

While the Reimans understood and recognized the need for an admission fee, they were reluctant to limit the access and enjoyment of all those who had become accustomed to taking leisurely strolls through the flowered grounds, said Blackwelder.

They volunteered to make a gift to ensure free access until the conservatory and butterfly flight house are complete. The new facilities are scheduled to open late next year. Blackwelder declined to state the amount of the Reimans' gift.

"We're obviously very pleased and gratified by this generous gift," said Blackwelder, "I'm sure the thousands of Iowans and out-of-state visitors feel the same."

The gift will allow at least a full year for Reiman Gardens' officials to study the admission fee issue further, as well as do market surveys, program development and staff selection.

"Schools across Iowa want to come here to learn about horticulture, entomology, botany and nature, and we need to staff up now to set up teaching programs for these students and schedule these visits far in advance," said Blackwelder.

The conservatory and butterfly house will increase interest in the gardens, he said.

"These two buildings will make this a 12-month attraction, and when people see how grand these facilities are and how much it requires to maintain them, we don't think they'll mind paying a modest fee to come inside," said Blackwelder.


Iowa State University
... Becoming the Best
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations, online@iastate.edu
Copyright © 1995-2000, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.