The new $22-million visitors centre at VanDusen Botanical Garden is complete and operational. And judging from the photographs I've seen, it looks spectacular.
The 1,765-square-metre (19,000square-foot) facility, which includes advanced technology, a green roof and orchid-inspired design, will accommodate more visitors and provide increased space for interpretive exhibits and education programs.
I'm sure the hard working volunteers from VanDusen are delighted. "This new visitor centre is an amazing fusion of architecture and nature, and will become a must-see attraction for residents and visitors alike," said park board chair Aaron Jasper. "I'm very pleased with the leadership role the park board has taken in building this beautiful facility, which is a candidate for recognition as one of the first living buildings in the world."
Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a news release that the centre will serve as a showcase for a sustainable building that reflects the city's goal to becoming the greenest in the world by 2020.
The cost of the centre was divided between the city ($8.3 million), the federal government ($6.9 million), VanDusen Botanical Garden Association ($4.7 million) and the provincial government ($2 million).
Anyone interested in the fate of The Elms of Sixth Avenue, as the trees have become known, will want to attend an open house today (Oct. 26) at the Grandview Legion.
Park board staff and the East 6th Elms Joint Working Group are hosting the event and want to hear thoughts and ideas from the public on the future of this unique canopy of trees that runs along East Sixth Avenue between Woodland and Nanaimo.
Issues to be discussed at the meeting include a pruning plan for the trees, a planting plan to fill in the gaps along the street and a management plan to ensure the health and longevity of this landscape. The open house runs from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Legion, 2205 Commercial Dr.
The park board is hosting an information session Thursday regarding the installation of an automated public toilet at Nelson Park. I've been writing about a need for a toilet in that park since funds for its redesign were approved in the 2003-2005 capital plan but with no cash included for washrooms. The completed redesign is considered a huge success with a community garden, regular farmers market and a very popular fenced dog area. But while visiting dogs have a place to go, humans with a need have not been so lucky. The toilet should be installed within months. Park board staff will be on hand to answer questions about the toilet from 4: 30 to 7: 30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Lord Roberts Annex, 1150 Nelson St.
The race for a park board seat in the November municipal election just got a lot more interesting. Longtime park board watchdog Eleanor Hadley has thrown her hat into the ring for the first time-at least in the 10-plus years I've been covering this beat. Anyone who's ever attended a park board meeting will likely have heard Hadley speak. She has a take-no-prisoners attitude and an opinion on pretty much anything to do with the park board. In total, there are 21 hopefuls seeking one of seven park board seats.