First National Botanic Garden Day
The World's First National Botanic Garden Day Launched in Argentina
Argentine Botanic Gardens have celebrated with great success, for the first time anywhere in the world, a National Botanic Garden Day on 14 October 2005.
With help from the HSBC supported Investing in Nature programme thirty-five gardens across Argentina held special events and activities for schools, families and hundreds of visitors.
The theme of the National Botanic Garden Day was “Discovering the Garden” and provided an opportunity for local communities to learn about plants and the important work that botanic gardens are undertaking.
Most gardens, as Lorenzo Parodi in Santa Fe, Nsa. Sra. del Huerto in Corrientes, Lucien Hauman-FAUBA, Cascada Escondida-INTA El Bolsón, Arboretum of the FRN-UN Formosa and Carlos Spegazzini-UNLP, conducted guided themed tours and made presentations on subject related to plants and their conservation. The Municipal Garden of San Carlos Centro opened a new education trail about plant evolution.
Some, as the gardens of Faculty of Agronomy-FICES in Va. Mercedes, the University of San Luis, Chacras de Coria-UNCu, Arid Chaco-EMETA Chamical and the UNCPBA in Azul, motivated their visitors to approach Nature through the arts, organizing drawing and art contests, art exhibitions and musical shows. At the Fundación Miguel Lillo botanic garden all that were interested could participate in the making of a mural.
Others, like América Biological Garden and Carlos Thays BG organized “treasure hunting”, where the clues led to find wooden “tree leaves” bearing the name of an Argentine BG each to be hung in the tree representing the network or resolving a quiz.
The Bahía Blanca BG organize a campaign to elect the “Flower for the City”, resulting in that a stinging small climber with nice flowers, the “Brave nettle”, (Blumenbachia insignis, Loasaceae) had the preference of the public.
Those gardens still in project or not open to the public yet, like “Gaspar Xuárez, S.J.”, “Arturo E. Ragonese”-INTA and “Miguel J. Culacuati” in Huerta Grande, presented their projects to rise the profile within their own institution, authorities and colleagues, or their education programme to local education authorities, teacher trainers and teachers.
Nevertheless, some gardens that were in project took the opportunity to formally open the garden to the public, as did Selva Misionera and Patagonic Arid BGs with a great interest and support from the local community, media and authorities. This event motivated many people to join the new project and integrate the working team.
Another motivating activity was the plantation of native trees in the collections where, as it happened in Patagonia Extra-andina-CENPAT garden, Santa Catalina Agrobotanic garden, Schulz Home Museum and garden, the Didactic garden of MACN, the Tucumán Faculty of Agronomy and Zootechnics garden, the National Parks Administration projected gardens, and Oro Verde-UNER, school students helped with the tasks and started a long lasting link with the garden.
Workshops where school students, according to the requirement of each level, explore the concepts of the relationships between the local fauna and flora, the adaptations of native plants to different environments, use of plants and related legends, were developed at Córdoba city and Pillahuincó botanic gardens. Hands-on activities were involved in all of them.
This event also helped to include the gardens, as it happened with Autochthonous Forest “El Espinal”-UNRC garden and reserve, in the touristic circuit of the region, celebrating the 500th birthday of a Caldén (Prosopis caldenia, a hardwood legume).
An estimate of 20,000 people visited the Argentine gardens during the celebration of the First National Botanic Garden Day. Some gardens were asked to repeat the experience during the following week end or weeks.
Volunteer from HSBC head office in Buenos Aires participated in a pilot experience at Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, in the city of Buenos Aires, en the 15th October, organizing a puppet theatre for children, poetry reading for adults and a treasure hunting for the general public.
It was the first time also that most of the gardens in Argentina organized an activity all together and at the same time, in different places of the country. It was an historical event. They draw the attention of the community to the importance of plants, specially the native ones, in our everyday life and the need to conserve them, added new audiences and reinforce the bond with the current visitors. It was a trial where experiences were gained to organize a new celebration this year.
¡¡¡ CONGRATULATIONS TO US ALL!!!
Activities at the Botanic Gardens and Projects (In Spanish)