Young Emma Boosts Finch Collection at Bloedel

The Friends of Bloedel received a wonderful and heart warming surprise last week! Emma Bolzner, one of our biggest (and youngest!) supporters, recently turned 12 years old. Instead of receiving gifts on her birthday, she asked party guests to make a donation to the Friends of Bloedel in her honour. Her wish was that the donation be used for the birds at the Conservatory. Thanks to Emma, we have given the Australian finch population a boost!

Red-headed Gouldian Finch assessing the open door to freedom at the Bloedel Conservatory.

Emma’s tremendous generosity is no surprise to us. You see, she has been an avid supporter of the Bloedel Conservatory since she was 9 years old! Since that time, she has raised over $750 for the Friends of Bloedel, gave presentations at her school and gathered over 200 signatures on a petition to save the Conservatory when it was under threat of closure.

Brilliantly coloured Orange-headed Gouldian finch enjoying breakfast at the feeding station.

Emma and her mother Christina were present at the dome for the finch release last Saturday, as were the Friends of Bloedel President Vicky Earle, Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Melissa De Genova and Park Board Commissioner John Coupar.

Left to Right: Park Board Commissioner Melissa De Genova, Emma Bolzner, Park Board Commissioner John Coupar.

We are thrilled to receive this wonderful donation! The brilliant colours of the new birds are already causing much excitement for visitors at the Conservatory. Thank you Emma! You are one extraordinary young lady!

Red-throated Parrot finch. Photo courtesy of Trisha Shear.

9-Year-Old Emma – Bloedel Hero Receives Award!

On Monday June 28, 9-year-old Emma was surprised and thrilled when Friends of Bloedel President John Coupar presented her with an Award of Appreciation for her fundraising efforts to Save the Bloedel Conservatory.  The whole school gave Emma a big cheer and a great round of applause when she accepted a framed picture of Rosie, the African Grey Parrot and a coveted FOB pin at her school assembly. Earlier last month, the Vancouver Sun told her story which was also picked up by City TV. Not only did Emma raise $240 in her first can and bottle collection drive, but she later went classroom to classroom at her elementary school giving presentations about the importance of the Conservatory, collecting over 200 signatures on a petition that was sent to Mayor Robertson.

“The Bloedel Conservatory has been a lifesaver for three generations of the Bolzner family. Emma was heartbroken when she heard that the Vancouver park board had slated the conservatory for closing after a budget meeting last November”. Stay updated at the Friends of Bloedel website.

Thank you Emma!! You are an inspiration to us all!!

A Very Special Donation to Save the Bloedel Conservatory!!

“My name is Emma and I am 9 years old.

I collected Bottles and cans to help save the Conservatory
I love to visit and the birds are my friends especially Rosie
I would be very sad if it closed down.

Love Emma B”

Emma sent the Friends of the Bloedel a cheque for $238.00!!

And she didn’t stop there! As of June 16, Emma gave presentations to all the classes at her school and collected over 200 signatures on a petition which has been sent to the Mayor, City Councilors and Park Board Commissioners. The Vancouver Sun released the story today. Read it here: Nine-year-old does her part to save Bloedel Conservatory.

THANK YOU Emma for your hard work!

It warms our hearts to know so many people of all ages are so dedicated to saving the Bloedel Conservatory and everything that makes it such a special place.

This post is dedicated to you Emma and to Rosie!

Rosie is a Congo African Grey Parrot. African Greys are considered to be among the most intelligent of all birds, even ranking alongside dolphins and chimpanzees for their ability to associate human words with meanings, shapes and colours. Rosie typically makes a wide range of clicks, chirps, warbles and water drop sounds – with the occasional “Cuckoo” thrown in for good measure. She will often climb down off of her perch and come out to the pathway to say ‘hello’ to all the visitors, although this is not particularly safe for her because she is rather small. If she does not want to be picked up, she puts her beak down to the floor (or perch) to say “No, I’m not ready yet”.

Parrots age gracefully and can live to be up to 60 years old. African Grey Parrots eat seeds, fruits and palm nuts. Did you know that chocolate, peach and cherry pits, apple seeds and avocados are toxic to all parrots? Sorry Rosie, no guacamole for you!

The African Grey Parrot is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Luckily, many countries have banned the importation of wild-caught grey parrots. In the United States, there are enough domestically raised birds to easily satisfy the demand for parrots as pets, so there is little support for black market illegally imported African Parrots. The Bloedel Conservatory works with a local non-profit organization called GreyHaven that specializes in parrot rescue, rehabilitation and adoption. All the birds at Bloedel have either been directly donated to the Conervatory from homes that can no longer keep them or have been adopted from the GreyHaven Sanctuary.

We are working hard keep the Bloedel Conservatory as a ‘forever home’ for Rosie and all the birds who live there. And for dedicated people like Emma who help make big changes in the world.