The Quidi Vidi/Rennie’s River Development Foundation (QVRRDF) operates The Fluvarium as a public centre for environmental excellence. QVRRDF was established as a registered non-profit charitable organization in 1985. It was formed by a group of interested individuals who were motivated to protect and enhance Rennie’s River, a major waterway flowing through the heart of St. John’s into Quidi Vidi Lake.
Time For A Change
QVRRDF started with a goal to build a walking trail along the meandering path of Rennie’s River. It was soon realized that the polluted river had to be cleaned up. A series of projects were undertaken including stream stabilization, general environmental restoration, and construction of a fish ladder. Over 7.5 km of walking trails, including boardwalks and look-out areas, were completed along the banks of Rennie’s River and around Quidi Vidi Lake.
The Fluvarium Is Established
In 1985, the foundation received approval by the St. John’s City Council to build an interpretation centre at Long Pond with a stream tank to “allow visitors to view, through a glass wall, the surface and bed of the river, where they will be able to observe trout spawning.”
By 1987, the QVRRDF began delivering environmental outreach programs to school children. The program focused on giving children a better understanding of the ecosystem of the river. The foundation spent the majority of 1988 securing funding for the construction of The Fluvarium. In June 1988, Prince Edward “turned the sod” at the site where the centre would be constructed.
In November 1990, The Fluvarium opened to the public with the goal to educate the public and in particular school aged children about the importance of watersheds and how to treat them properly. It was officially opened by The Princess Anne, on July 2, 1991. The opening celebrations included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, and a tour of the building and grounds.