The last time we checked in on the Mitchell Park Domes, the embattled icons were no longer falling apart and were instead hosting the delightfully old-fashioned Kooky Cooky House. Fun! Even more fun: the non-profit Friends of the Domes just announced it has received a $2 million bequest from an individual (and anonymous) donor. No, the money won’t be used to prevent further chunks of concrete from falling from the sky (possibly endangering the Domes’ resident bearded dragon, Steve), but will instead have a “primary focus on expanding the adult education program administered by the Friends of the Domes.” Also, the Domes are great.

In other recent Domes news, that Domes Task Force is still pondering the “overwhelming” options for saving the things, one county supervisor couldn’t make any of the meetings, and the Winter Farmers Market got the boot from the Domes’ annex.

Here’s the full press release about the $2 million:

Friends of the Domes Receive $2million Bequest

Milwaukee – The Friends of the Domes is pleased to announce it has received a $2.0 million bequest from an individual donor. These funds will be added to the Friends of the Domes endowment in support of the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (the “Conservatory”).

The earnings from the endowment will help fund projects and programs that benefit the Conservatory, with the initial and primary focus on expanding the adult education program administered by the Friends of the Domes. This program will complement the excellent student education offerings already provided by the Conservatory. This large gift continues the strong and growing monetary support we’ve seen through donations to the Friends of the Domes in support of the Conservatory and highlights the community’s commitment to having a world class horticultural conservatory in Milwaukee.

Roger Krawiecki, Board President of the Friends of the Domes, stated, “We are thankful for the generosity of the individual who has made this lasting contribution in support of one of Milwaukee’s iconic cultural institutions, the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory. This gift to the Friends of the Domes will be instrumental in providing ongoing funding of projects and programs that enhance the horticultural significance of this institution and benefit the citizens of the Milwaukee area who are able to enjoy everything the Conservatory brings to our region.”

“The Domes are more than a great place to visit. Like all of our County Parks, they are also an educational tool to help people learn about our earth, the life within it and how to be good stewards of our environment,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “I’m deeply grateful for this bequest and for all the supporters who help enrich our outstanding Parks system.”

Donations to the Friends of the Domes can be made at, by mail to “Friends of the Domes, Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, 524 S. Layton Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53215”, or by dropping off your donation in the gift shop the next time you come to enjoy the Conservatory. For further information Contact the Friends of the Domes Executive Director Sally Sullivan at 414-257-5629.

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.