Fond farewell for the Conservatory

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/03/2018 (1785 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As the MLA for Tuxedo for 18 years and a resident of this great community for even longer, I have truly cherished being so close to Winnipeg’s crown jewel: the Assiniboine Park.

Like many in the area, I have marveled at how the visionary leadership of Margaret Redmond, president and chief executive officer of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, has turned the park and zoo into a truly world-class destination for our city.

I was therefore incredibly proud recently to help support their transformational work.

Supplied photo From left: Gerald Dieleman, project director for the Canada Diversity Gardens, Tuxedo MLA Heather Stefanson, and Margaret Redmond, president and chief executive officer of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. Stefanson took a final tour of the Conservatory Feb. 21.

Last July, I joined Margaret Redmond as well as Hartley Richardson, chair of the Conservancy’s board of directors, to announce $15 million from the provincial government to help fund the new Canada Diversity Gardens, the final phase of the Conservancy’s 10-year, $200-million development plan.

The Canada Diversity Gardens will be a world-class attraction that will display a wide array of plant life in a beautiful space.

The project will have four cornerstones — The Leaf, The Indigenous Peoples’ Garden, The Cultural Mosaic Gardens, and The Grove — each exploring a different aspect of the relationship between plants and people while showcasing our country’s multicultural heritage. The new Gardens are slated to attract 200,000 visitors a year and create over 800 direct and indirect jobs.

But while we welcome something new and exciting in our community, we also need to take the time to bid farewell to an old treasure.

It is with that in mind that I recently paid a visit to the Assiniboine Park Conservatory; a horticultural attraction that will be closing at the end of the month to make way for the new Diversity Gardens.

I know that we will all fondly remember the Conservatory’s beautiful humid temperatures in the middle of winter and its array of exotic plant life. I can even remember having birthday parties there as a young girl.

But while we all have great memories of the Conservatory, we also know that the building is now long past its viable life span.

It is with that in mind that I took my final tour of the Conservatory on Feb. 21 with Margaret Redmond and Gerald Dieleman, project director for Canada’s Diversity Gardens. I learned all about the transition plan, including the bold new plant life and concepts for the new Gardens.

My tour was a preview of a weeklong open house community celebration at the Conservatory from March 27 to April 2, where members of the community are encouraged to share their memories of this old treasure.

I hope residents from across Tuxedo will come and bid farewell to the Conservatory that week and say hello to the new Canada Diversity Gardens in our community!

Heather Stefanson

Heather Stefanson
Tuxedo constituency report

Heather Stefanson is the PC MLA for Tuxedo and the premier of Manitoba.

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