Conservatory springing into action

Mike Dixon, supervisor of forestry and horticulture with the City of Thunder Bay and Karen Nadeau, lead and curator of the Thunder Bay Botanical Conservatory, check on canna lilly that they have wintering in a cool room at the conservatory. The canna lilies are removed from park beds in the fall and wintered indoors to save them for next year’s gardens as a cost-saving measure.

Work being done by staff at the Thunder Bay Botanical Conservatory isn’t just about watering tropical plants.

The streamlined operation is impacting the city’s climate change and environmental footprint, while cutting costs to provide the city with thousands of plants for a multitude of projects.

Managing workers to utilize their time efficiently and growing thousands of plants from cuttings and seeds to curb spending on high-cost plants, are an example of some of the cost-saving measures put in place.

The planned development of 500 Low Impact Development (LID) beds, will have a direct impact on city flooding, and the 12 beds already in place have proven to be very helpful in mitigating flood water.

“That’s storm water management and it’s all being done with the same staffing level that we have at the conservatory,” said Mike Dixon, supervisor of forestry and horticulture with the City of Thunder Bay.

“We get a lot of work out of everyone here because everyone pulls really hard.”

See the full story in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal.

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