Plant Conservation Initiative at the Botanical Garden:

 

On the 1st of March 2017, Headstart Preschool undertook a field trip to the Botanical Garden in Kingstown to tour the grounds and learn some more information about the research taking place within the Garden. Twenty two students and three teachers were in attendance to learn about the propagation techniques being used for the Soufriere tree, which is the national flower of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There is currently only 1 known specimen of this tree in existence, which is found at the Botanical Garden.

 

In January of 2017, Mr. Gordon Shallow, the Curator of the Botanical Garden at the National Parks, Rivers, and Beaches Authority commenced a plant propagation program with grant funding support from the SVG Preservation Fund for the “Lignum Vitae and Soufriere tree as flagship species for conservation and biodiversity preservation” in an attempt to re-introduce and promote the sustainability of these two very significant species. There are two methods being used to propagate the Soufriere tree, live cutting propagation and air layering. The live cutting method involves removing a fresh branch from the living tree, applying rooting hormone to the branch, and transplanting this branch into a growth medium. Research suggests that the branch will sprout its own roots and eventually become its own sapling. The second method, air layering, involves removing the bark (including the outer cambium of xylem and phloem) while a branch is still on the actual tree, applying root hormone to the exposed area, and covering the area with a growth medium (potting soil) then covering with foil or plastic. Research again suggests that the exposed area will sprout roots. Once the branch sprouts its own roots it can then be transplanted to a different location and begin growing on its own.

 

The students from Headstart preschool were exposed to the various methods of propagation and were allowed to tour the Botanical Garden, including the nursery where the transplanted saplings are located. The students were able to identify the Soufriere tree saplings and learned about the importance of the tree to the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

 

Students stand under the only Soufriere tree currently found on St. Vincent and the Grenadines

 

 

         

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

Students learning about the Soufriere tree flower

 

 

                                                        

 

                                                             

 

 

 

Students successfully identify the transplanted Soufriere tree saplings

 

HRH Prince Harry of Wales

Prince Harry will visit the picturesque island of St Vincent on 27th November, part of the chain of islands making up the Realm of St Vincent and the Grenadines. His Royal Highness will be met off the boat at Kingstown Cruise Terminal Pier by the Governor General His Excellency Sir Frederick Ballantyne, other government officials and a military parade, at which he will formally inspect the Guard.

 

From there, Prince Harry will travel to Botanic Garden at about 10 am, the oldest in the western hemisphere which celebrated it's 250th anniversary in 2015. Boasting a wealth of tropical plants, flowers, trees and birds, the gardens are also home to the beautiful St. Vincent Parrot, the Amazona Guildingii, the country's national bird. Here, His Royal Highness will tour the site, watching a number of cultural performances and will plant a commemorative Baobab tree to mark the visit.

 

 

 

 

Tags: Royal Visit  

 

The Caribbean and Central American Botanical Garden Network was established in 2013 to bring botanical institutions together to engage, share and learn from each other for the benefit of plant conservation and preservation of biodiversity.  The key objective of the network is to enhance communications between regional botanic gardens and to assist Target 16 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

 

Target 16: Institutions, network and partnerships for plant conservation established or strengthened at national, regional and international levels to achieve the target of this Strategy

 

At the conference, the St. Vincent Botanic Garden will be presenting on "Challenges facing the St. Vincent Botanical Garden in the 21st Century", as well as, "Funding Botanic Gardens - Challenges and Opportunities"

 

 

 

 The St. Vincent Botanical Garden was successfully awarded grant funding of EC $7,500 from the New Zealand High Commission Fund - Bridgetown.

The grant funding was awarded for a "Botanical Garden Rehabilitation" project, which aimed at rejuvenating the interest of the general public in Garden.

The project's outputs were; construction five weather proof park benches, installing one hundred new tree signs for better signage and interpretation, as well as purchasing of new plant specimen for trail development and exhibiting.

 

it is hoped that these new features will enhance the overall visitors' experience at the Garden, and increase patronage by the public, which would also result in the development of greater understanding of the botanical world and deeper appreciation for nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the benches installed under the Soufriere tree near the iconic Doric temple.

Government of SVG

 

 

Contact the gardens

Telephone: (1 784) 533 1657

Email: botanicgardens@hotmail.com