In regards to a living collection like an aquarium, zoo, historical and heritage sites, or botanical garden, much more constant care would be required since, as the name “living collection” implies, the collection itself is literally alive.

While it is nice to be able to see something that is alive, like an animal, plant, or a reenactment of a historical event, the expenses required to maintain and upkeep these places can become costly. Usually, finances to cover upkeep or salaries are covered through an admission fee, but sometimes donations are needed to keep up with the demand of maintenance costs. As plants in a botanical garden would need professional gardeners, aquariums and zoos would need caretaking staff, and historical sites with reenactors would need trained staff and props, on top of all that you would also need educators and funding for researchers. Ethical issues regarding the care of living animals and specific plant species as well as workers compensation for reenactors are also inherent complications that come with living collections.

What living collection have you visited in the past that left a strong impression for you?

A walkway in the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden in Seattle

2 Thoughts to “Complications of Living Collections”

  1. Arianna Wyanski

    I think that the living collection that left the strongest impression on me was Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. First, it was an aquarium, and second, it has a glass walkway through the shark tank. It was super cool, and I’m a huge fan of the ocean so it was just a fun time all around.

  2. MoHagani Magnetek

    Initially, I was going to say the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and then I was going to say the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden on Staten Island but then I was like the Brooklyn Botanical Garden so finally, I will say just about any and every botanical garden in New York City I visited made strong lasting impressions on me.

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