Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Bloedel Conservatory, Remembered

While our friends south of the border were getting ready to celebrate their Thanksgiving, I woke to learn that the Vancouver Parks Board voted 4-3 in favor of closing one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver, the Bloedel Conservatory. The Children's Farmyard in Stanley Park will also close - all due to a $2.8-million budget shortfall. Both are slated to close in March 2010.

In August, I visited the Bloedel Conservatory. To follow are the photographs I took to illustrate its beauty. As a child, in the third grade, I visited the Bloedel Conservatory on a field trip. I visited every year since, with my family, and now I take my own children there.

The spectacular triodetic dome capping Queen Elizabeth Park is dedicated to the wonders of the natural world, with an emphasis on plants and birds.

Over 500 different plants from tropical and subtropical areas of the world are on display.

There are also over 100 birds of various species that call the Bloedel Conservatory home, free-flying within the spacious plexiglass dome.

Where else can you take a stroll through a simulated tropical rainforest paradise and then explore the subtropic and desert climate zones, all in the same place?

The conservatory was constructed through a very generous donation from Prentice Bloedel in 1969. The same donation enabled the Park Board to cover the main reservoir atop Queen Elizabeth Park. A visit to Bloedel Conservatory has become a holiday tradition as the crowning glory of one of Vancouver’s most beautiful parks. The stunning Queen Elizabeth Park offers breathtaking views of Vancouver and the Coasts Mountains on the North shore.

40 years in Vancouver and it has come down to this. It's a sad day for me and my family.

IMO, The Bloedel Conservatory had an opportunity to educate people, young or old, about rainforest destruction, by allowing visitors to see, touch, and feel the tropical plantlife on display [and see the birds the fly among them]. In all the years I visited the Conservatory, not once was I aware of any organized lecture, tour, or workshop that focused on rainforest conservation and protection.

The motto of the '' website it as follows:
- If you are thinking 1 year ahead, sow seeds.
- If you are thinking 10 years ahead, plant a tree.
- If you are thinking 100 years ahead, educate the people.

An opportunity missed.

For more information about Rainforest destruction, visit:

If you live in Vancouver, or plan to visit, please stop by the Bloedel Conservatory...before it's gone forever.

Enjoy a virtual tour of the Bloedal Floral Conservatory here


  1. Wow! What a strange combination of species. It looks like a great place to visit.