The Biodôme Has Some Great Plans For Its 15th Birthday!



    TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Makes a $200,000 Contribution
    to Renew Learning Tools for visitors

    MONTREAL, March 28 /CNW/ - The Montréal Biodôme today announced it will
begin the first phase of a new project designed to renew the Biodôme's visitor
learning tools, thanks to a $200,000 contribution from the TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded by TD Bank
Financial Group. The total estimated cost of the project is $1.5 million.
    "The Biodôme wants to use this major support from the TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation to renew and review all the subjects it deals with and
the educational approaches it uses for interpreting its collection. The
Biodôme still presents a concept unlike anything else in the world. In order
to maintain its position as a leader in environmental education, it wants to
adapt its message to the growing emphasis on biodiversity and the role of
ecosystems in maintaining that diversity," noted Francine Senécal, Vice-Chair
of the Montreal Executive Committee and member responsible for Montréal's
Nature Museums. The financial support from the TD Friends of the Environment
Foundation comes just at the right time to allow this planned comprehensive
review of all the Biodôme's interpretation tools to get underway, once the
financing is fully in place.
    As the Biodôme celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2007, visitors benefit
from a unique experience full of discoveries, including a modern interaction
that reflects the major environmental issues of the 21st century and the
extraordinary potential of new technology. This project, aimed at completely
upgrading the Biodôme's visitor learning tools, is in line with those goals.
Plans include establishing a new introductory zone, enhancing the ecotransit
zones between the ecosystems, upgrading interpretation panels with adaptable,
interactive ones, and adding new elements to improve the experience of young
visitors, all revolving around the theme of biodiversity. In fact, the project
is being carried out in co-operation with the UN Secretariat of the Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD).
    "Protecting biodiversity is a priority for many people in Quebec, the
rest of Canada and the entire world. Species are disappearing today at 50 to
100 times the natural rate. It is urgent that we act now, in whatever way we
can," said Bernard Dorval, Group Head, Business Banking & Insurance, TD Bank
Financial Group and Co-Chair, TD Canada Trust. "The mission of the TD Friends
of the Environment Foundation is to support the efforts of Canadians who are
dedicated to the well-being of our environment, and we're very proud to
contribute to a project that will encourage responsible environmental
behaviour."
    The Biodôme's ecosystems are the perfect tools for helping to increase
public awareness of the importance of protecting biodiversity. Diversity
ensures variety in the world's ecosystems, from forests to wetlands, lakes,
rivers and polar regions. In each ecosystem, living creatures interact not
only with each other, but also with the air, water and soil in their habitat.
This is exactly what the four ecosystems at the Biodôme represent.
    With 850,000 visitors every year, the Biodôme is the most popular
admission-charging tourist attraction in Quebec, and an excellent showcase for
environmental education. Today's announcement will make a positive impact in
economic and tourism terms, but more importantly will allow the Biodôme to
continue delighting visitors and encouraging them to think about the
importance of biodiversity.


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Media information: Biodôme: Isabel Coulombe,
Communications Co-ordinator, (514) 868-3053, icoulombe@ville.montreal.qc.ca;
Evelyne Girard, Communications Assistant, (514) 868-3123,
evelynegirard@ville.montreal.qc.ca; TD Bank: Edith Ducharme, Senior Director,
Public Affairs, (514) 289-8978, edith.ducharme@td.com


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