flood 2021

February Flood 2021

Burpee Experienced a Major Flood

On February 8th, 2021 Burpee experienced a large flood due to a broken pipe.  The pipe was part of the fire suppression, sprinkler system. 


What Happened:

The pipe burst on the 2nd floor in the education offices, and spread to the 1st floor including the gift shop, offices, lobby, Mahlburg Auditorium, and some exhibit areas.  The water then soaked through the floor and into the lower level, raining down on collections ranging from mammals, to birds, to insects, to Native American pieces, to dinosaurs.  

The Rockford Fire Department responded quickly and assisted with saving many priceless specimens from our biology, anthropology, and paleontology collections.  Staff responded like the coordinated team they are, carrying arms full of taxidermy, fossils, and papers to dry land.  In the face of chaos, Burpee staff was calculated and efficient, working with ownership and passion for Burpee Museum.  It was a team effort and words alone can not describe the heroic efforts of staff in saving so much of the museum by acting quickly in the face of disaster.

Much of Burpee's collection was stored in cabinets or under protection so water damage was minimal, and most items are repairable with some hard work.  Many cabinets, flooring, and walls are a total loss.  

Postponing Re-Opening

After damage assessments, we have learned the scope of necessary repairs is much more extensive than originally anticipated. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that Burpee Museum will remain closed until April 9th.  It is our hope that with continued hard work and dedication shown already our amazing staff and community, Burpee will be back on her feet soon.  Those who have purchased tickets will be contacted

PaleoFest Continues!

PaleoFest 2021 will still be "on" for March 6-7 on our virtual platform. 


Ready To Help?

Our community is amazing!  Many of you are asking how you can help.  Financial assistance will help us leverage our closed time and extra needed staff hours as we work with insurance companies to determine how we can replace what was lost. 

Please continue to be our most important supporters with positive vibes, Burpee love, your support and, most of all, your patience when we re-open!