The Muttart Conservatory certainly knows how to throw a party on its last day of opening before an 18-month renovation.
On Canada Day 2019 weekend, the facility had brought out props from previous shows to be displayed in various pyramid biomes. Various plant societies present for the big day on July 1, the last day of operation.
The tropical biome pyramid featured 5 dinosaurs, including a T-rex and pterodactyl.
The temperate biome pyramid had terrariums shown throughout. The ladies from the Edmonton African Violet and Gesneriad Society’s had a booth displaying some beautiful African violets (which they sell annually on site).
The arid biome pyramid showcased some Mexican festive decorations popular during the Day of the Dead holiday. The folks from the Cactus and Succulent Society of Alberta were present, whom I’d like to call the real cactus club. They displayed some native species of cactus which grow here in the province.
In the show pyramid, Monet’s Garden, the facility had various activities for visitors, including a wishing well for people to send letters. The Second Chance Animal Rescue Society were there for people to pet the rescued furry friends. The Orchid Species Preservation Foundation had a spot in the show pyramid with photo opportunities with orchid selfies.
In the main central area, there was fun to be had with children’s music and programs, planting a take-home zinnia or nasturtium, and the Edmonton Native Plant Society.
The line-ups gathered from the entrance desk where the Marigold Gift Shop and Culina Muttart had last-minute patrons, to outside the main gates, where people could warm up as they made their own bannock under the wind and rain.
Finally, everyone who visited for the closing weekend was able to draw and write on the farewell wall like the Royal Alberta Museum did when they closed the old building.
Designed by local architect Peter Hemingway, the Muttart Conservatory has been Edmonton’s plant conservatory landmark since 1976. The 18-month renovation is timed with the closing of its grounds during the Valley Line tram construction as the track winds down Connors Road and towards TawatinĂ˘ bridge and into downtown where it will terminate near Churchill Square. The facility reopens in 2021.