The Botanic Gardens – Calvin Nicholls   


Mr. Calvin Nicholls’ contribution to the continued development of the Botanic Gardens began earnestly when he was appointed Agricultural officer, Forestry and later when he became Deputy Chief Agricultural Officer and Head of the Forestry Department (then called a Division).

Two major developments occurred during this period. Firstly, the “Nicholls’ Wild Life Complex” became an added attraction within the Gardens. With the outstanding marketing strategy of RARE {Rare Animals Rescue Effort} and in particular the effort of Mr. Paul Butler out of the U.K., the St. Vincent parrot Amazona guildingii moved from near extinction to be proclaimed the National Bird of SVG and a series of conservation measures was put in place to ensure the sustainability of this amazingly beautiful bird along with other wild life species. The Nicholls wild Life complex became the home of rescued wild life and created history when for the first time SVG parrots bred in captivity in its compound.

Secondly, Mr. Nicholls with his forestry crew moved the beauty of the Botanic Gardens to what became known as recreational Sites/beauty spots in and around Kingstown and beyond. Fort Charlotte, Sally Spring, Cane Garden { overlooking the cruise ship birth},the top of the E.T. Joshua Airport runway and the round-about Arnos Vale and the Owia Salt Pond were created. Most of these are now maintained through private partnership. He was the creator of the grounds of the Ministerial Building and for many years after his retirement maintained the plants.

When Mr. Nicholls retired in 1991, Forestry was at the cusp of a take -off having had the CIDA Forestry Project, 1989-94 (much of which was written by him). Funding was provided to address institutional, infrastructural and human resource constraints in the Division and since then Forestry is a Department with its institutional organization, its Headquarters in Camden Park, and some outstanding achievements among which are the Vermont and Montreal Nature trails.

Mr. Nicholls will also be remembered for his sterling support to the fledgling Horticultural Society. He had a passion for Ginger lilies and the ficus. His creativity could be seen at the entrance of his home where he shaped the ficus plants which so beautifully adorn the entrance to his residence.


Written by Philmore Isaacs former Chief Agricultural Officer


Government of SVG



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Telephone: (1 784) 4935824