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THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2010

Save the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver!

One of Vancouver's most beautiful attractions, the Bloedel Conservatory atop Vancouver's highest point, Little Mountain in Queen Elizabeth Park, is on the chopping block and needs our help to save it! In 2009, citing budget cutbacks, the Vancouver Park Board wants to close this forty-year old local landmark and attraction which was a gift to the City of Vancouver in 1969 from Prentice Bloedel who was a leader of the British Columbian timber industry.

Pathways and tropical gardens in the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park.Blue Macaw in the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park.Last week I had the chance to check out one of my favourite green spaces (aside from Stanley Park!), Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. I went specifically to pay a visit to the humid tropical jungles of the Bloedel Conservatory which sits atop Little Mountain - the highest point in the city.

The Bloedel Conservatory has been a local attraction for over forty-years. It opened in 1969 after Prentice Bloedel donated money for the triodetic dome's construction which is now home to koi-filled ponds, 500 plant species and 100 exotic birds which fly (or walk) freely through the tropical gardens. Its hard not to imagine Vancouver - let along Queen Elizabeth Park - without this spectacular indoor garden where Macaws and Parrots whistle to you as you walk by and fragrant,Red Macaws in the Bloedel
Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park. multi-coloured orchids and other tropical plants can be admired along the narrow pathways.

A winter getaway and summer curiosity, the gardens have been a place for locals and tourists alike - however, with budget shortfalls in 2009, the Vancouver Park's Board voted to shut down the Bloedel Conservatory as well as the Children's Farmyard in Stanley Park as costly operating fees and repairs are looming for these two local attractions. Groups such as the Friends of the Bloedel Conservatory are working hard to save this landmark and to keep it a public attraction - the deadline for Expressions of Interest is April 30, 2010 so please help! The Bloedel Conservatory is accepting donations and hopes to raise $250,000 (as of February 2010, they have raised $50,000). Please speak our and donate to help save this one of a kind Vancouver treasure as once it is gone... it'll be gone forever!






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