An Ontario master gardener says Thunder Bay should have done a lot more — a lot sooner — to preserve and promote the Centennial Conservatory.
The president of the Ontario Master Gardeners Association said it's not too late to fix things. City council will consider the future of the conservatory at its meeting next week.
"It's more or less been frozen in time since it was constructed," Ralph Bullough said.
"It is a real comment on the lost opportunities we've had for making partnerships and growing the facility and now being in a position of saying, should we close it?"
Bullough said he opposes moving the conservatory to the waterfront, noting the climate is too chilly there. He will share his ideas with city councillors Monday night and discuss ways to advance the conservatory.
"They should have had a volunteer component to interpret the plants for the public," Bullough said. "There should have been a teaching program going on, in partnership with the Horticultural Society, the university, or College and other groups. You could have had a pollinator garden, with bees on the outside grounds."
He noted that when one looks around "at other facilities in the world, there's a myriad of ideas — even art, a tearoom [and]
a sale area. There's a lot of things that haven't happened that should have happened."