The difference is like night and day at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Outside of the glass, the temperatures have plunged well below zero, and the world is frozen and snow-covered. Inside the glass, the temperatures are in the mid-70s and everything is green, growing and blossoming. It is like a visit from spring 51 days early.
"Working here, sometimes you forget how wonderful it is, but I'll tell you, on these cold days, I come in and I'm so glad I'm not on the road crew. I think that many people would change jobs with me in a heartbeat right now," said Jennifer Recoy, assistant conservatory curator at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Recoy is in charge of growing plants at the facility.
The Olbrich Botanical Gardens have become a popular retreat from a long, cold and snowy winter, especially for children and parents on days when school has been canceled.
"I think the winter has been especially hard on people. I think that the first cold snap we were like, 'That's just part of Wisconsin winter,' but it just won't go away. So I think, yeah it is getting old," Recoy said.
With schools closed in Madison on Tuesday, Scott Mooers and his 6-year-old son spent the day at the gardens. It was their way of inching closer to spring.
"I wish that you would say that it was 21 days until spring, but we'll take it. I mean, this is the place to come to get us through those 51 days, without a doubt," Mooers said.
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