The wonderment of the Bloedel Conservatory and the kid trying to save it
What a charming story in Wednesday's Vancouver Sun by reporter Denise Ryan and photographer Les Bazso. A young girl from Maple Grove Elementary school has been plugging away for months to raise a few bucks to help save the Bloedel Conservatory. The story titled Nine-year-old does her part to save Bloedel Conservatory is both heartening (thanks to the girl's pluck) and frustrating (because the Vision park board has been ignoring her).
Here's a passage from Ryan's report:
Emma [Bolzer] was heartbroken when she heard that the Vancouver park board had slated the conservatory for closing after a budget meeting last November.
So she wrote to the mayor. No reply. She wrote to Aaron Jasper, the park board chairman. No reply.
Then the shy, soft-spoken girl mustered her courage and took matters into her own hands.
"I collected bottles with my cousin and my mom," Emma said. The bottle drive raised $240 for Friends of the Bloedel, a group that is trying to save the garden, without changing its essential character.
If that's not enough to inspire you, the story goes on to explain that Emma has health issues.
Emma, born 10 weeks premature, weighed just two pounds at birth.
"She has mild cerebral palsy and has sensory issues so we couldn't go to community centres because the sensory overload was too much," Christina (Emma's Mom) explained.
"Life is so high-drive," Christina said. "We need this serene place."
Emma got permission from her elementary school to start a campaign in support of the Conservatory.
So she put together a petition and a presentation, got some kids onside, and they went to each class.
Emma made a lot of new friends during the process — she pulled in more than 200 signatures and sent the petition off to the park board. (There has been no reply.)
John Coupar, president of the Friends of the Bloedel board has welcomed Emma's support.
"Aaron Jasper has said community centres are sacrosanct," Coupar said. "We need contemplative spaces as well."
Funny to think that community centres are "sacrosanct" in Jasper's eyes, yet when it comes to running political protests in them, that's fine with him now. Sheesh, would this guy make up his mind?
You go, Emma. There are lots of us impressed with your classy campaign.
Note: The Friends of the Bloedel event "Garden Fever" to be held later this month has been postponed.
- post by Mike