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Have a healthy houseplant? Prince George’s Exploration Place needs help to sprout new botany display

Science centre redevelopments to welcome residents, hopefully, by July

With hopes of welcoming back Prince George residents by Canada Day 2021, Exploration Place is putting together a new exhibit dedicated to plants.

Dubbed as the Palaeo-Botany Hall, the local science centre is reaching out to the public to help create a 90-foot living wall by donating some houseplants to the display.

Exploration Place CEO Tracy Calogheros says this is the first time the museum is requesting a helping hand since its temporary closure during COVID-19.

She hopes for a great response as the facility plans to bring new interactive material.

“It is a complete redevelopment of our galleries; one that I am so excited to share with the community,” said Calogheros in a news release.

“We are hoping to tap into Prince George’s legendary generosity and collect cuttings that we can get growing NOW so we are ready this spring to plant the wall.”

In order to make the living wall possible, Exploration Place is looking for up to 2,000 cutting or various plant life, including general healthy houseplants (Pothos, Swiss Cheese and Dracaena plants are most common), umbrella tree and rubber plants, but nothing potted in dirt and must be bug-free.

The cutting itself should be four inches long with at least four leaves, but Calogheros explains Exploration Place Botanist Chad Hellenius is willing to take on more.

“Anyone with a large plant that is no longer fitting their space should reach out to Chad at the Museum to explore whether or not their species will fit the curatorial plan for this indoor botanical garden,” she explained. 

“We have set up a new email just for this project… plants@theexplorationplace.com.”

Ongoing renovations for the Palaeo-Botany gallery are also set to include socially-distanced family bubble seating pods in their own nooks, complete with charging stations and presentation screens.

Dinosaur sculptures will also be in the hall along with living animals and specimens.

Calogheros says this is only the beginning when it comes to exhibits and programs when Exploration Place eventually reopens to the public.

“We have a new curatorial database on the way very soon, summer programming and the opening of the Little Prince Steam Engine, all before we are even able to, HOPEFULLY, cut the ribbon on the renovations inside this July 1st.

“The Museum has always enjoyed a great relationship with our community. We are so eager to expand on this historic relationship once we are able to share our Living Evolution Project with everyone!”

If you have a houseplant to contribute to the 90-foot living wall, you’re asked to drop them off at Exploration Place on Sunday (Jan. 17) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

They must come in a zip-lock bag or a wet paper towel and residents must wear masks and social distance themselves at the drop-off.