July 23, 2021

Student in Greenhouse

The Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse, located on Ball State University’s campus, is increasing in size to accommodate more visitors and host more community events.

The expansion, in process now, will double the size of the greenhouse’s approximately 800-square-foot Conservatory. It also includes the addition of a dedicated community learning multipurpose space—an approximately 1,500-square-foot environmental education center.

Currently, the greenhouse attracts more than 6,000 visitors annually. Those visitors generally include students from area elementary, middle, and high schools; Ball State students, faculty and staff; and community members from Muncie, Delaware County, and beyond.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion project was held this Summer at the greenhouse site.

“We are looking forward to accommodating even greater visitation in the future, and we are excited about growing our contribution to our region,” said Cheryl LeBlanc, curator of the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse.

Remaining open through the construction, Rinard Orchid Greenhouse continues to provide a vibrant space to experience nature in an immersive and hands-on learning environment.

The greenhouse is proud to showcase the largest collegiate orchid species collection in the country, with 2,100 orchids. Specialty collections include the Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Collection and Species Bank, and the Betty Kendall Ladyslipper Orchid Collection. More information about Rinard Orchid Greenhouse—its 50+ year history, scheduled events, orchid species onsite, hours of operation, how to help the expansion, and information about becoming a greenhouse volunteer—can be found on its website.

The Rinard Orchid Greenhouse is located within Christy Woods, on the southwest end of Ball State’s beautiful campus. Foot access is available via University Avenue or Riverside Avenue. Limited parking is available near the greenhouse, adjacent to Christy Woods. Visitors are encouraged to call 765-285-8839 for more information on tours, parking or other greenhouse-related questions.