Group submits proposal to run Stanley Park petting zoo like VanDusen garden

When Tamara Flick-Parker’s son was a lot younger, the two of them would often go to the Stanley Park Children’s Farmyard.

Popular as a petting zoo, the barn, which hosts over 100 animals of various species, holds many special memories for Flick-Parker. Her son is now 18.

When she learned that the Vancouver park board is planning to shut down the over-one-acre farm, she decided to get involved.

Flick-Parker started a Facebook group and an on-line petition. She didn’t stop there.

Flick-Parker and her friends submitted an expression of interest detailing a business plan for the farmyard. The park board had set an April 29 deadline for the submission of proposals not only for the barn but also for Queen Elizabeth Park’s Bloedel Conservatory.

In a phone interview, Flick-Parker said that her group wants to introduce more programming to the farmyard.

They also want to work in partnership with the park board, in the same way the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association does with the board in running the VanDusen Botanical Garden.

“We want them to continue to cover costs for the employees—wages and benefits—and we would supplement the operation costs and be responsible for any funding that new programming requires,” Flick-Parker told the Straight.

Flick-Parker didn’t want to go into detail as her group’s proposal will have to be reviewed by park staff.

According to a staff report last year, the farmyard attracts more than 150,000 visitors a year.

However, the operation of the yard is subsidized by about $160,000 per year.

Park board chair Aaron Jasper told the Straight that two proposals were submitted for the Stanley Park Children’s Farmyard.

For the Bloedel, four proposals were handed in, according to Jasper.



Bill McCreery

May 19, 2010 at 9:34pm

Congratulations Tamara & co. I & others will be watching the unfolding proceedings with keen interest. It will be interesting as to how the current Commissioners handle these selection processes fro The Farmyard & Bloedel.