Youngster gets political to save conservatory
Published Saturday, December 12, 2009 7:55PM PST
When Grade 2 student Evan Barclay heard that the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver was in jeopardy, he put down his school books and took action.
Barclay is a regular at the conservatory, located in Queen Elizabeth Park. He enjoys experiencing the unique plant and wildlife on display.
"For some reason it makes me feel like I teleported to the Amazon," he said.
But both the conservatory and the children's petting zoo in Stanley Park are on the chopping block because of a $2.8 million shortfall in the Vancouver Park Board budget.
In November, the board voted in favour of closing the attractions.
When he heard the news, Barclay set out to rally support. In one day, he collected more than 100 signatures.
"I think it will keep it open cause I got pretty much a lot of names," he said.
On Saturday, Barclay presented his petition to Park Board commissioner Stuart Mackinnon. The board will meet Monday night to discuss ideas that could keep the conservatory operating.
"I think we can do a lot to find the money through the people of Vancouver to get this building back up to snuff," Mackinnon said.
Corporate sponsorships, fundraising efforts and better marketing strategies will all be considered.
Barclay said he will attend the meeting, hoping his efforts will in some part convince commissioners to reverse their decision.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington