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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 Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive website at Images are free to accredited members of the media/ For further information: Media information: Biodôme: Isabel Coulombe, Communications Co-ordinator, (514) 868-3053,; Evelyne Girard, Communications Assistant, (514) 868-3123,; TD Bank: Edith Ducharme, Senior Director, Public Affairs, (514) 289-8978,

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