Big Adventure for Little Clyde

Clyde, the beautiful Eastern Rosella parrot, recently escaped through a vandalized plexiglass bubble at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park. Fearing the worst, worried Conservatory staff and Friends of Bloedel volunteers searched day and night throughout the park. Hopes were lifted when his calls were heard and excited relief spread when he was was spotted in the antennae structure atop the dome.

But now how to get him down? Luckily, the team from Spectrum Skyworks, who were on site to repair the damaged plexiglass bubble, stepped into quick action. Their high level rope access training and specialized rope and safety equipment allowed them to perform the rescue safely. The team took tremendous care to get the little bird down from atop the 70 foot dome. Special thanks goes out to Wayne, Neil and Scott for their great work in coaxing the Eastern Rosella into a transport carrier and getting him to the ground safe and sound!

Clyde was smart to find his way into the structure. He was protected inside the metal and grated structure from the outside elements and predatory eagles, while the rising heat from the dome kept him warm through chilly nights. Clyde is no stranger to adventure: he flew into the open doors of a fire hall over 12 years ago and was taken in by Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary before coming to the Bloedel Conservatory. He has thrived in the lush tropical atmosphere inside the dome. Clyde is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery from his recent big adventure. A BIG thank you goes out to the dedication and commitment of all involved!

A Walk in the Tropics is back at Bloedel!

The tremendously popular Walk in the Tropics series is back at the Bloedel Conservatory! Come out and join expert speakers as they discuss a variety of topics while strolling through the lush tropical atmosphere under the dome atop Queen Elizabeth park. It’s like a mini vacation with an educational twist!

v.earle_red macaw.5x5

The first walk this season, ‘The Birds of Bloedel’, takes place on Wednesday, April 24th at 3:30. Education Director Janice Robson from the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary will share intriguing facts about each species at the Conservatory – from the large exotic Macaws and parrots to the small finches and budgies. Janice will also discuss the care required, diet considerations and tips for keeping your own feathered companions healthy and happy.

Cost to attend each walk is $10 for VanDusen members and $15 for non-members, which includes admission to the Conservatory. Pre-registration is a must! Register online, by phone, in person or by fax. Visit the VanDusen Botanical Garden Adult Education Registration page for all registration information, forms and course brochure. 

Mark your calendars!  This is a terrific series that you won’t want to miss!

A Walk in the Tropics Spring/Summer Schedule

art beauty 4smThe Birds of Bloedel

Wednesday April 24
3:30 – 4:30 pm

Janice Robson will introduce you to the variety of bird species that live in the Bloedel Conservatory. She is a wealth of knowledge and will share interesting facts and stories about all the species under the dome as well as great tips for your own feathered friends.

dancing ladies croppedOrchids Throughout the World

Wednesday May 22
6:30 – 7:30 pm

What makes tropical orchids so unique from most other tropical plants? How do they differ from their orchid cousins in colder regions? Join Margaret Pratt, President of the Vancouver Orchid Society, in a discussion about epiphytism and adaptations that make certain orchids suited to tropical climes.

holey philadendron smPlant Adaptations in the Tropics

Wednesday June 19
6:30 – 7:30 pm

Adaptations are specific features that allow plants to live in a variety of conditions around the world. Join this fascinating exploration of tropical specializations including types of bark, drip tips, prop and stilt roots, buttresses, epiphytes and how certain plants ward off predators. Instructor: Janet Canning, Capilano University

fiddlehead 2x3Healing Gardens

Wednesday July 17
6:30 – 7:30 pm

Join Dr. Aimeé Taylor, Horticultural Therapist, on a walk through the Bloedel Conservatory to discuss the healing and therapeutic benefits of spending time in green spaces. Discussion will include indoor plants for your home that provide clean air along with other benefits.

clyde great_smThe Birds of Bloedel

Wednesday August 21
6:30 – 7:30 pm

Jenny Tamas, Adoptions Director from the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary, will introduce you to the variety of bird species that live in the Bloedel Conservatory. She will share interesting facts about each species, as well as the care required, diet considerations and tips for keeping your own feathered companions healthy and happy.

Enjoy Mother’s Day at the Bloedel Conservatory!

Red canary posing for the camera

The Bloedel Conservatory is now on Summer Hours – and just in time for Mother’s Day!

Why not treat Mom to a stroll through the magical Bloedel Conservatory, our green jewel at the highest point in Vancouver? Our chatty parrots and free flying exotic birds are sure to delight Mom and the whole family! That’s one of the surprising and best features of the Conservatory.  You can get up close to the stunning birds! See Clyde, the rare Eastern Rosella Parrot, while many of the Zebra finches, Laughing Thrushes, and colourful Chinese Pheasants wander along the pathway. Stop for a moment and listen, then see if you can spot the new Red and Bronze canaries. Their sweet melodies are truly enchanting and add a special touch to a special day. Oh yes, and we encourage you to stop and smell the flowers! The plumeria tree is now blooming!

Fragrant plumeria blossoms

The Bloedel Conservatory is fully wheelchair accessible, so it’s easy to sit close to the parrots and macaws and watch their antics or have a chat! Handy Bird Guides and Scavenger Hunts are available at the front counter. A trip to the Bloedel is a great outing for Mom and the whole family!

Bloedel Conservatory: Extended Summer Hours:

Monday – Friday: 9am – 8pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 9pm

To round out the day, why not combine your trip to Bloedel with a picnic lunch at Queen Elizabeth Park or have brunch at Season’s in the Park Restaurant? With the best views of the city, exceptional service and Season’s Lobster Eggs Bennie, it’s a combo that that is sure to delight!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Christmas is for the Birds!

Santa will be stopping to fill the stockings for all the parrots and other free flying birds that reside under the dome!

Saturday, December 18th at 4:30 pm

Bloedel’s radiant evening display, “Jewel Box of Lights”, and its “Wishing Tree for the Birds” has been popularly embraced by the attending public with an outpouring of donations to fill the stockings for all resident birds who call the Conservatory home.

On Saturday, December 18th, Santa Claus will stop by Bloedel Conservatory at 4:30 pm and then surprise all the feathered fowl by filling their individually embroidered stockings a little early this year.

The Friends of Bloedel have sponsored the Jewel Box of Lights display in response to overwhelming public support to save the Conservatory and reinvigorate it with new events and educational programs.

Join us for this special visit from Santa!

6 Top Reasons to Visit the Jewel Box of Lights!

“Bloedel is a Jewel Box as are the stars, and at Queen Elizabeth Park, you can almost touch the heavens on a clear night” ~ T. Clark

#1:  It’s Warm Inside!

Take a break from the rainy winter weather outside! Step inside, shed your rain jacket and take in the lush tropical wonderland. It’s like a mini-trip to a Costa Rica without the expense of a plane ticket!

#2: The new expanded Light Display is magical!

The staff at Bloedel pulled out all the stops for the 41st Anniversary of the Conservatory! The tropical plant kingdom under the dome has been transformed into a glowing magical masterpiece! Twinkling waterfalls of lights and special laser effects are a must see this year. Grab a coffee or hot chocolate from The Blue Parrot Coffee Hut outside and come in to enjoy the show. To see the lights at their full brilliance, plan a visit at 4 pm or later. Extended hours are in effect until January 2nd: Sunday – Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm; Friday – Saturday 10 am – 9 pm.

#3: It’s Unique!

“I’ve walked around this pathway multiple times today and I see something new every single time!”

This was a common comment from visitors last Sunday at our Opening Event! The gardeners at Bloedel have worked very hard to keep plant displays top notch this season. Just like a real rainforest, there is so much to see! Not only are the lights spectacular,  but look high up in the trees! See real papaya, figs and bananas growing, then see if you can find the poinsettias with rhinestones on the tips of their petals. Of course the free flying birds are always on the move, so you are likely to spot one that you have not seen before.

#4: The Conservatory is great for kids of all ages!

Children and seniors especially love Bloedel because you can get up close to the beautiful and exotic birds! See Clyde, the rare Eastern Rosella Parrot, happily munch an apple at the feeding station, while many of the Zebra finches, Laughing Thrushes, and colourful Chinese Pheasants wander along the pathway. Perfect to stop and take photos of our beautiful feathered friends. And we encourage you to stop and smell the flowers!

Bloedel is fully wheelchair accessible, so it’s easy to sit close to the parrots and macaws and watch their antics or have a chat! Handy Bird Guides and Scavenger Hunts are available at the front counter. A trip to Bloedel is a great outing for the whole family!

#5: Destress during the holidays!

Feeling exhausted and stressed from holiday preparations? Did you know Bloedel is a healing garden? Not only are the festive lights a joy to look at, but hearing the sound of the waterfall, the birds happily chattering, and taking in the warmth and greenery of the dome will naturally unwind and relax you. Studies show spending time in gardens and green space not only lowers your blood pressure, but it actually decreases stress hormones in your body! Come for a visit, find a bench, take a deep breath and re-charge your energy!

#6: The price is right!

This is the best admission price in the city of Vancouver! $5.35 for Adults; Seniors & Youth $3.75; Kids 6-12  $2.70; Preschoolers – Free. Be sure to enter from the 33rd and Ontario Street entrance to avoid the construction.

The Jewel Box of Lights Event runs until January 2nd, 2011

Sunday – Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm

Friday – Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm

Come in and see us today!

Jewel Box of Lights!

“Bloedel is a Jewel Box as are the stars, and at Queen Elizabeth Park
you can almost touch the heavens on a clear night!” ~ T. Clark

Special Opening Event

December 5th: 11 am – 4 pm

Trio of Tubas * Quartet of Carolers * Old Saint Nick *

* Wishing Tree *

Rediscover Bloedel’s plant kingdom transformed!

Please join us on Sunday, December 5, for the Jewel Box of Lights Opening Event in celebration of the 41st Anniversary of the Bloedel Conservatory. See magical lasers and twinkling waterfalls of lights as you listen to the incredible Holiday Acapella Quartet VocalWorks. Then make way for our trio of tubas! Their unique sounds are sure to delight all ages! Stop and make a wish on our Wishing Tree. Special bird ornaments will be sold by donation to help fill the stockings of all the Parrots at Bloedel and help buy special orchids for the new Exotic Orchid Shows next year. The best part? You get to take an ornament home for your own tree! Santa will be stopping by too, handing out delicious European chocolates.

Regular admission: Adults $5.35;  Seniors & Youth $3.75;

Kids 6-12  $2.70; Preschoolers – Free

The Jewel Box of Lights display will run extended hours from:

December 3rd – January 2nd
Fri & Sat: 10 am – 9 pm       Sun – Thurs: 10 am – 8 pm
*Closed December 25*

(Early closure at 5pm: December 16, 30 & 31)

It will be a very special day under the dome!

See you there!

Please note: Due to construction, park access to the Bloedel Conservatory, Season’s Restaurant and park-top parking is off of 33rd Avenue between Cambie and Main. See detailed map under Bloedel Conservatory:

Rare Rosella Parrot Takes Flight at Bloedel

Clyde is an Eastern Rosella parrot! After living in a cage for over 12 years, Clyde stretched his wings this morning at the Bloedel Conservatory and took his first unimpeded flight in over a decade!

Clyde just before release:

Clyde Free at Last!

Vancouver Sun Video: Rare Eastern Rosella Parrot Flies Free:

About 12 years ago, Clyde flew into the open doors of a fire station managing to escape gangs of crows that would have taken his life had he stayed in the wild. After an extensive search for his owners, one of the firemen adopted Clyde and gave him a loving home. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Clyde was recently given to the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary in need of new living arrangements. Greyhaven felt the Conservatory was a perfect match for this lovely fellow and it is! Clyde flew free this morning to a chorus of cheers from Park Board staff, Friends of the Bloedel and the media. Come out to see this spectacular exotic parrot and welcome him to his new home!

Eastern Rosella’s are native to southeast Australia and Tasmania and have been introduced to New Zealand. They average about 30 cm (11 inches) in length. It is difficult for these parrots to imitate human speech, but they are excellent at whistling. Clyde will be in very good company at Bloedel as he will join over 100 other diverse free-flying birds who have found refuge in this wondrous garden jewel.

The Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary is the only SPCA certified bird rescue organization in BC. They provide sanctuary, rehabilitation and consultations with their avian vet when health care issues arise for the birds in their care. Every year, hundreds of pet birds are bred in captivity in British Columbia and end up being surrendered for adoption. The average bird in B.C. will go through 7 homes in it’s lifetime. You can help Greyhaven by checking out their website and/or by voting for their shelter in the Animal Rescue Site Holiday Challenge to help them win a much needed $1,000 grant. Greyhaven is a fully volunteer-based organization and have rescued over 1,000 birds since opening in 1998.

Be sure to come by and meet Clyde, this beautiful Rosella, at the Conservatory!

News: September – December, 2010

Bloedel Conservatory in the News: September, 2010

Central Park: Public purse. Sandra Thomas, Vancouver Courier, September 24, 2010

Central Park: Tennis anyone? Sandra Thomas, Vancouver Courier September 22

Video Clip: Fate Decided. Global News September 20, 2010

Vancouver park board votes to keep Bloedel Conservatory open. Matthew Burrows, September 21, 2010

Bloedel to remain open, petting zoo axed. The Canadian Press Date, Tuesday Sep. 21

Bloedel Conservatory Saved! Stuart McKinnon, September 21, 2010

Flora favoured, fauna finished in Vancouver. in Vancouver News on September 21st, 2010

Vancouver’s Bloedel Conservatory :: Saved! September 21, 2010

Conservatory, zoo vote tonight. Jeff Hodson Metro Vancouver. September 20, 2010.–conservatory-zoo-vote-tonight

Bloedel battle resumes tonight: ‘Everyone wants this to happen’. By Ian Austin, The Province September 20, 2010.

Park Board to decide on Vancouver’s Bloedel Conservatory. Bev Yaworski September 20th, 2010.

Friends to rally at parks board meeting Monday in hopes of saving Bloedel Conservatory. IAN AUSTIN, The Province September 19, 2010.

Critical Bloedel Conservatory vote tomorrow night: Park Board to decide whether to keep it open or close it. Denise Wong Sep 19, 2010–critical-bloedel-conservatory-vote-tomorrow-night

Bloedel Conservatory’s prospective owners worried deal is taking too long. Frances Bula: Vancouver — From Saturday’s Globe and Mail Published on Friday, Sep. 17, 2010.

Vote on fate of Bloedel Conservatory scheduled for Monday
The Province by Staff Reporter, The Province September 17, 2010.

Bloedel Conservatory in the News: October, 2010

Central Park: Clyde the glide by Sandra Thomas, Vancouver Courier October 27, 2010.

Bloedel Conservatory welcomes new addition “Clyde”. The Vancouver Courier, Central Park by Sandra Thomas Oct. 27, 2010

Video: Rare Eastern Rosella Parrott Flies Free: An eastern Rosella parrot who was homeless finds a haven at the Bloedel Conservatory where he gets his first taste of freedom after living in a cage for many years. The Vancouver Sun, by Warren Perrin & Yvonne Zacharias Oct. 26, 2010.

Have you Been to The Bloedel Conservatory Lately? by Laurie Kingdon Metro-Blenz News Squad, Oct. 25, 2010.

Bloedel Conservatory gets rare eastern rosella parrot. Oct. 21, 2010 News and views: Straight Talk., Stephen Hui

The Wanderings of a Daydreamer (blog): Bloedel Floral Conservatory Parts 1-7 (Fantastic photographs!)

Bloedel Conservatory: The Gardener’s Escape.

Bloedel Conservatory, Vancouver. Vancouver Limousine, Oct.6, 2010

Bloedel Conservatory in the News: November, 2010

Queen Elizabeth Park Detour in Effect Until January 2011. Access to the park, including Bloedel Conservatory, Seasons Restaurant, Quarry Display Gardens, and Celebration Pavilion from 33rd Avenue at Ontario Street.…/25av_watermain_phase4_detour.pdf

Bloedel Conservatory: Watch video clips, movies and more. Gosteri Video Music. November 22, 2010

Clyde, Rare Eastern Rosella Parrot, just before release at Bloedel Conservatory. Friends of Bloedel YouTube Channel.

Clyde, Rare Eastern Rosella Parrot, Flys Free! Friends of Bloedel YouTube Channel.

Orange Bishop Weaver Finch all fluffed up at Bloedel. Beatrice Chi Chow YouTube Channel. November, 21, 2010

Friends of Bloedel YouTube Channel. Video clips of exotic birds, parrots and macaws at the Bloedel Conservatory.

Another flip flop from Vision Park Board. By Mike Klassen,, November 18, 2010.

Great 8-part series on Bloedel Conservatory. by PSYL: Wanderings of a Daydreamer Blog.

Jang provides another Vision knock against city staff. by Mike Klassen, November 30, 2010

Bloedel Conservatory in the News: December, 2010

Park board roundup includes Olympic legacies. By Sandra Thomas, Vancouver Courier December 31, 2010

Vision has action-packed 2010. by Allen Garr, Vancouver Courier December 31, 2010

Bloedel Conservatory’s Jewel Box of Lights. Blog by monnibo. December 30th, 2010.

Central Park: Starry night by Sandra Thomas, Vancouver Courier December 24, 2010.

Photos: Take a walk in a garden of Christmas Lights. Dazzling photos taken from the Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Garden and the Christmas lights display at the Bloedel Conservatory. The Province. December 23, 2010

CTV’s Maria Weisgarber on Bloedel’s bright future. News Release,  Dec. 21, 2010

Bloedel Conservatory puts on a Christmas light show. by Tanya Fletcher Dec 19, 2010–bloedel-conservatory-puts-on-a-christmas-light-show

Jewel Box of Lights at the Bloedel Conservatory (Great photos!). Venture Vancouver, Dec. 17, 2010

Top 5 Things to Do in Vancouver During the Holidays. The “Fresh Ideas” Destination Management Blog, Dec. 15, 2010.

Bloedel lights up for Christmas. First time the conservatory has been lit up to this scale. By Sheila Scott Dec 07, 2010–bloedel-lights-up-for-christmas

Bloedel Conservatory brightens up for Christmas. by Mike Klassen in , December 3, 2010

Central Park: Lighting up by Sandra Thomas, Vancouver Courier, December 1, 2010

Playground listings: Dec. 2-9. Vancouver Sun. December 1, 2010