Bloedel Floral Conservatory
The Bloedel Floral Conservatory
|Location||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Number of animals||100 birds|
|Number of species||500 plant species|
The conservatory opened in 1969 and was constructed through a donation from Prentice Bloedel, which was also used to cover the water reservoir on top of Queen Elizabeth Park and to provide covered walkways, lighted fountains and art work.
In November 2009, facing a large budget shortfall, the Vancouver Park Board voted in favour of closing the Conservatory. The approximately $240,000 CDN annual operating subsidy and the need for a roof replacement and other major capital costs were cited by members of the board as reasons for the decision. The closure was to take effect on March 1, 2010, just after Vancouver had finished hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. In response to the decision several groups formed in order to lobby both the board and city council.
In early January 2010, a commissioner reported that attendance numbers were up sharply in December 2009 over December 2008 now that construction projects at the adjacent reservoir on Little Mountain and along Cambie Street, which started in 2003, had been completed. By the end of January, the Friends of the Bloedel Association had helped raise $50,000, and was projecting $250,000 by the proposed March closure. In late February, the park board voted to keep the facility open and asked for proposals on running it.
On April 29, 2010, the Friends of the Bloedel Association and VanDusen Botanical Garden Association submitted a proposal to the Vancouver Park Board to run the Bloedel Conservatory as part of the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, and the Conservatory remained open. At least one other proposal was received, but the joint proposal of the Friends of the Bloedel and the VanDusen Association was approved by the Services and Budgets Committee of the Vancouver Park Board on July 20, 2010, and unanimously approved by the full Park Board on September 20, 2010.
Plants and animals
The conservatory contains three habitats: tropical rainforest, subtropical rainforest, and desert. Over 100 birds of various species reside within the dome and are allowed to fly free. Also on display are an array of tropical fish. The Bloedel Floral Conservatory houses about 500 species and varieties of plants from deep jungle to desert clime, all within the dome. The conservatory is home to Bougainvilleas and Browallias, citrus and coffee trees, Eucalypti and epiphytes, Euphorbia and various figs, Gardenia and Hibiscus. Magnolia trees share space with delicate lilies, yucca with pteris (ferns).
The dome is surrounded by a landscape garden.
Located 500 feet (150 m) above sea level, the conservatory itself is 140 feet (43 m) in diameter, 70 feet (21 m) high. The triodetic dome (related to a geodesic dome) consists of 1,490 acrylic glass bubbles and is illuminated at night.
In the plaza adjacent to the Conservatory dome is a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, Knife Edge Two Piece 1962–65. It was donated to the Park Board by avid modern art collector Prentice Bloedel when he funded the redevelopment of original Queen Elizabeth Park Plaza and Bloedel Floral Conservatory. The work is one of three casts.
The conservatory has been used as a filming location for several movies and science fiction series including Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda.
- "Over $50,000 raised for Bloedel Conservatory". news1130.com. News 1130. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Bloedel Floral Conservatory". vancouver.ca. Vancouver Province. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Sinoski, Kelly (17 November 2009). "Vancouver Park Board defers decision on closure of farmyard, conservatory". vancouversun.com. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- McMartin, Pete (1 December 2009). "New ideas needed for farmyard, conservatory". vancouver.ca. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Crawford, Tiffany (29 April 2010). "Plan to save Bloedel Conservatory would see landmark tied to VanDusen Gardens". vancouver.ca. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Bloedel Conservatory attendance way up according to Commissioner". news1130.com. News 1130. 3 January 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Park board votes to protect Conservatory building". news1130.com. News 1130. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Mercer, Katie (1 March 2010). "Plans sprouting to save Bloedel Conservatory". Vancouver Province. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Crawford, Tiffany (30 April 2010). "Group delivers plan to park board to save the Bloedel Conservatory". vancouver.ca. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Vancouver Park Board - Queen Elizabeth Park - Bloedel Floral Conservatory". Retrieved 2010-05-17. "May 2010: The Bloedel Conservatory is open for business with regular operating hours. In light of recent budget constraints the Park Board has received proposals from interested proponents for business cases or concept plans for the future use of the conservatory. The proposals are currently under review by staff. In the meantime the conservatory, as well as the Stanley Park Children’s Farmyard, will remain open."
- Thomas, Sandra (2010-07-15). "Bloedel Conservatory saved from extinction". The Vancouver Courier. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- "Services & Budgets Committee Meeting — Agenda". 2010-07-20.
- CBC News (2010-07-20). "Vancouver conservatory stays open". CBC.ca. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- Jack Keating (2010-09-21). "Bloedel Conservatory saved by unanimous parks board vote, but farmyard nixed". Vancouver Province. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- "Bloedel Conservatory: What to see and do". City of Vancouver, Parks, Recreation, and Culture. 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
- Ritter, Kate. "Stargate SG-1 Locations - Vancouver". Retrieved 30 April 2012.
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