EDMONTON – The Alberta government says it decided to take down a living wall in its landmark Federal Building earlier than scheduled because of a bug infestation.
The United Conservative government had planned to remove the 223-sq.-metre plant installation in the Edmonton building’s lobby in 2021 to save on its annual $70,000 maintenance costs.
But a spokeswoman for the Minister of Service Alberta says that a bug infestation was discovered a day or two ago, so the government decided to order the wall’s immediate removal.
About half of the greenery had since been torn down.
Tricia Velthuizen says the living wall was something nice that the province can no longer afford.
She says the wall will be replaced with art from the provincial collection.
Adam Holder, a spokesman for the company that installed the wall in 2014 and was hired to maintain it, said the ivy and other tropical plants provided fresh air to the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
He says he was disappointed to hear it’s being removed, as the maintenance costs could easily have been trimmed.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.