Conservatory and Stanley Park Zoo to be saved from Vision Vancouver axe: NPA Commisioner Robertson leads the way

Children’s farmyard, Bloedel Conservatory face reprieve

By Frank Luba, The Province May 4, 2010

The Vancouver Parks Board has received four proposals to keep the Bloedel Conservatory operating and another two proposals aimed at continuing the Children’s Farmyard in Stanley Park.

The proposals were all received before the Friday deadline.

Ian Robertson, Non-Partisan Association parks commissioner, led the charge to save the two facilities.

“It’s fabulous news,” said Robertson Monday. “I’m really pleased to hear there’s been that level of interest.

“I said right from the beginning I didn’t think either of those institutions had to close,” he said. “I felt that there were other solutions out there.”

Both the Bloedel Conservatory, which is in Queen Elizabeth Park, and the farmyard had faced closure as a result of the board’s $2.8-million budget shortfall in 2010.

Attendance at the conservatory had declined recently, which supporters said wasn’t surprising considering the traffic upheaval on Cambie Street during the Canada Line construction.

But the geodesic-domed conservatory and tropical garden, which used to be a money-maker for the board, was going to cost $240,000 to operate this year, while the farmyard was going to cost another $160,000.

Parks board chairman Aaron Jasper said Monday he was pleased with the response to the request for proposals to operate the two threatened facilities.

“Obviously, the devil is in the details,” said Jasper. “We want proposals that are viable.”

Park staff will go through the proposals but, in the meantime, Jasper is going to ask them to present an overview to the board.

The proposals will be discussed before the services and budget committee before staff makes a recommendation to the board.

Jasper doesn’t expect a recommendation will be made until late June.

In the meantime, the facilities will continue to operate.

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2 Responses to “Conservatory and Stanley Park Zoo to be saved from Vision Vancouver axe: NPA Commisioner Robertson leads the way”
  1. Bill McCreery says:

    One wonders why the Board’s S & B Committee will be discussing the proposals before receiving the staff report? This is the reverse of normal procedures.

  2. Ian says:

    Hi Bill – I agree with your comment. While I support the proposals coming to committee prior to the full Board, I expect a staff report will accompany the proposals. Ian

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