Exploration Place seeking tropical plants for living wall

Exploration Place is asking Prince George residents to help populate a living wall at its new paleo-botany hall.

The museum is welcoming donations of clippings from tropical plants this Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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“We are going to need somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2,000 plants just for the living wall and that gets expensive even at $4 a plant," the museum's CEO Tracy Calogheros said. "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.”

Donators are asked to take a clipping at least four inches long or with at least four leaves from a healthy, bug free plant and wrapped in a wet paper towel in a zip lock baggie. Staff will accept them at the front door while practicing social distancing and wearing masks.

Pothos, Swiss cheese and dracaena plants are common in Prince George, "but I'm assuming people are going to bring all sorts of stuff," Calogheros said.

Exploration Place is also seeking umbrella trees, rubber plants and other larger species for space behind the wall but no potted plants are being accepted on Saturday.

Instead, those who have plants to donate are asked to contact the museum in advance at plants@theexplorationplace.com.

Calogheros said there is room for plants up to nearly 25 feet tall, "so if people have stuff that has outgrown their house it could fit really well but I want to make sure they're quarantined."

The palaeo-botany hall will fill what was the atrium with dinosaur sculptures and specimens, living animals with connections to their palaeo-ancestors and an almost 90-foot long living wall of plants.

The gallery will feature family bubble seating pods, each nestled in their own nook, surrounded by plants and animal ambassadors, complete with charging stations, individual screens for presentations and the assurance that each space is socially distanced from other family bubbles and is fully sanitized between user groups.

Exploration Place hopes to have the hall opened on Canada Day, fallout from the pandemic pending.

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