Perfectly designed for special events, the Muessel-Ellison Conservatory includes a large, open space and a peaceful lower area with a small waterfall and mature tropical plants.

Our History


Designed and built in the 1960’s by Lord & Burnham, one of the 20th century’s pre-eminent designers of greenhouses, the Conservatories were gifts from Ella Morris and the Muessel-Ellison Foundation to the people of South Bend. Recent renovations will preserve these beautiful structures for future generations.

Our Mission


As part of our mission, the Conservatories act as a center for botanical education. Every year, we offer a variety of classes in gardening and plant care, science workshops for children, and special lectures. School groups of all ages are welcome to visit and use the Conservatories as a resource for learning.

What’s New

DJ’s Sensory Garden

DJ’s Sensory Garden was created to be accessible and enjoyed by all visitors including the disabled. This garden provides sensory experiences from nature including touch, smell, taste and sound.


In accordance with the Conservatories mission, DJ’s Sensory Garden also provides an educational purpose as well as an area where anyone can relax and revive their senses.


DJ’s Sensory Garden was established in Memory of DJ Milliken.  

Green Roof


The green roof of living plants installed on the roof of the potting house addition to the Conservatories was spear-headed by local non-profit, Greening the Bend, in collaboration with the Botanical Society of South Bend.

Green Roofs provide energy savings, wildlife habitat, storm water retention and many other environmental benefits. Green Roofs are healthy, regenerative and economical.

“The support for green roofs in this community has been building since the city’s Municipal Energy Office initiated the installation of a green roof at the zoo,” notes Kathleen Petitjean, Executive Director of Greening the Bend.  “We’ve had donors from private individuals and children to local businesses and corporate sponsors step up to help make this project a reality.”

Kil Architecture, which designed the upgrades for the Conservatory a few years ago, managed the design and installation of this green roof, with Midland Engineering providing the roofing expertise.  

The Arizona Desert Dome has a circular path around a sunken area filled with cacti, agave, and other examples of arid environment plants.

A multi-functional facility, the Ella Morris Conservatory includes a meeting room and a large growing room with a lovely fountain and winding paths through tropical plants.


our history

our mission

our facilities






upcoming events

weekly yoga






general manager

events coordinator

The Potawatomi Conservatories    2105 Mishawaka Avenue,  South Bend, Indiana    (574) 235-9442

©2016 Botanical Society of South Bend