Mission & Vision
About Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory
The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory is a living plant museum with a permanent collection of over 1,800 plant species that represent plant life from across the globe.
The mission of the Conservatory is to inspire people through plants, and as part of the Milwaukee County Park system, we also play a key role in the county's vision that by achieving racial equity, Milwaukee is the healthiest county in Wisconsin, as studies have shown that plants have a wide variety of mental wellness benefits.
The conservatory, also known as the Domes, is located in Mitchell Park in Milwaukee, and as well as the main Domes campus, the site includes six propagation greenhouses and a greenhouse used for special events.
Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory is managed by Milwaukee County Parks, formally known as the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture. As a department of Milwaukee County government, the Conservatory governance includes the elected County Executive and an 18-member Board of Supervisors.
Funding for the Conservatory comes from general admissions tickets, rentals and events, tax funding and concessions sales. The independent non-profit, the Friends of the Domes, also provide financial and programing support.
Building Lighting Requests
The halo lights on top of the Domes light up in a variety of colors for special occasions including playoff runs for our local sports teams, or to mark special events such as Black History Month.
Photography & Film
The Mitchell Park Domes are one of Milwaukee's most photogenic destinations. To ensure a positive experience for you, while maintaining a pleasant experience for our many visitors, please be aware of the rules and guidelines that follow:
-no tripods are permitted inside the Domes
-please do not enter flower beds, plant displays, or mulched areas. Stay on the pathways.
-do not disturb or remove plants, plant labels, or containers.
-formal group photography, including prom, engagement and wedding photos, require a permit
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operators must comply with the regulations issued by the FAA, and these rules:
- Drones may not be flown within 50 feet of the Mitchell Park Domes or greenhouses.
- Drones may not be flown within 25 feet of people.
- Drones must be flown in a safe manner.
- Drone flights are not permitted inside the Domes or greenhouses.
- Drone flights in the park are restricted to park hours: 6 a.m.–10 p.m.
- Drone flights that hover directly over an outdoor ceremony or group of people, without their consent, are not permitted..
- Commercial use of drones on Milwaukee County Parks property, requires a filming permit.
Ticket Donation Requests
Requests for discounted entry or free admission tickets from registered 501(3)c organizations are considered on a case by case basis.
Plant & Animal Donations Policy
If you have plants that, for one reason or another, you no longer want, consider donating them to The Domes!
To begin the donation process, snap a photo or two of your plant, then fill out the application. Next, a Milwaukee County Parks horticulturist will review your application. If your plant is accepted, you will be contacted to arrange a time for you to bring the plant to The Domes.
Friends of the Domes
The Friends of The Domes, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, directly channels both financial and volunteer resources – along with staff time – to make possible many of the educational, scientific and cultural programs at Milwaukee's Living Landmark.
The Friends of the Domes mission is to promote and support the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory and the surrounding park by creating and enhancing the visitor experience of this globally significant urban destination.
Zilli Hospitality Group (ZHG) has been providing catered events in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin for more than 50 years. They are the exclusive catering partner for the Mitchell Park Domes and manage all private events hosted at the Domes.
The Domes are managed by a team of seven full-time staff members, including venue management and horticultural staff, with Milwaukee County Parks.