Vancouver petting zoo, conservatory face cuts
The Vancouver Park Board has agreed to take a second look at a plan to shut down the Stanley Park Children's Farmyard, the Bloedel Floral Conservatory and some community centre programs after a large crowd turned out to oppose the cuts at a meeting Tuesday night.
Commissioners were set to vote on a proposal by staff that would cut $2.8 million in expenses from its budget, after the city ordered the board to make the cuts by Nov. 25 in order to meet a budget shortfall.
But after hearing from opponents of the plan, commissioners put off the vote until next week in order to give themselves more time to consult with the public and city hall staff.
Commissioner Aaron Jasper said to stop the cuts, the public and commissioners will have to convince city hall that changes need to be made.
"We need people to make a lot of noise," said Jasper.
"We will clear our schedules. We are going to work for the next seven days to help get the voice up to city hall ... to talk to our colleagues up there to help them realize that parks is important to the well-being of the residents of Vancouver," said Jasper.
City hall is currently engaged in a round of budget cuts itself, and councillors are considering a plan to hike property and parking taxes, cut 160 full-time jobs, reduce street cleaning, and cut library hours.
The park board will vote on the proposed cuts again on Nov 25.
The Bloedel Floral Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park is a large dome filled with tropical plants and birds. It was built in 1969 with a donation from Prentice Bloedel.
Stanley Park Children's Farmyard was opened in 1982, but the site dates back to 1962. It is currently is home to 200 animals.