19 September 2012

Cutting Your Nose to Spite Your Face: Maintenance Cuts Hurt the Bottom Line

For those of us who love the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, this was a bit of a disappointing year. The gardens just weren't as beautiful as they have been in the past. They were a little frayed around the edges. This is not surprising as, like every other garden and park in Vancouver, their maintenance budget was cut this year. This is incredible as the VanDusen is actually a revenue stream for the Park Board. People pay money to view the gardens, and if they don't like what they see they won't come back. In addition to the cuts in gardeners, under the new protocol the Bloedel Conservatory will soon be funded out of VanDusen revenues with no additional support from the City. This will put even more pressure on the VanDusen. I am absolutely thrilled to have the expertise of the VanDusen staff supporting and managing the Bloedel Conservatory, but just as the archives, museum and planetarium are funded by the city, why isn't the Bloedel?

The City has strange priorities when they cut funding to places that actually bring in revenue directly to the City--not to mention all the indirect revenue that tourists and residents alike bring to the City through their dollars spent at sites like VanDusen and Bloedel. We are in great danger of losing our cultural heritage if we don't look after it. Please support the VanDusen and the Bloedel. If you haven't visited in a while get out to them. Now is especially a great time to see the outdoor gardens at VanDusen. The trees are magnificent in their autumn colours. And tell your elected officials that gardens are important. They help our environment and make Vancouver one of the 'greenest' cities in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Council doesn't fund the Park Board operations, period, as much as they used to. The portion of the Park Board revenues that come from the city's property tax base has decreased over the past 4 years, and that is a Council decision.