Lush fauna and foliage are hallmarks on the Caribbean’s natural environment. This year, tourism officials in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will recognize that legacy with a series of events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the country’s Botanical Gardens, described as the Western Hemisphere’s oldest, Brian Major reports for Travel Pulse.
Agencies including the St. Vincent National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority have launched a series of celebratory events in this year to highlight the Gardens’ historic legacy as a conservation site and source for plant propagation.
“While there are countless sites within SVG that have unblemished natural beauty and ‘feel good’ tranquility, our beloved Botanical Gardens are exceptionally important primarily because they feature various aspects of our country’s heritage and history,” said Glen Beache, CEO of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA).
“The Gardens remain an intrinsic part of our culture, our people, and the beauty that makes up our nation,” he said. “We hope visitors will make it a priority on their list of ‘must visit’ SVG attractions.”
Located in SVG’s Kingstown region, the facility features peaceful, lush and colorful gardens filled with tropical plants, flowers, trees and birds. The Gardens are designed promote the conservation of rare species and feature aviaries where guests can see the St. Vincent parrot, SVG’s national bird.
The Gardens originated in 1765 when General Robert Melville, governor of the then-British Caribbean islands, established a breeding center to provide medicinal plants for the military. Melville designated six acres previously designated for the military to be set aside for the Gardens.
The Gardens are also famous for being the captain William Bligh’s destination on his second Caribbean visit in 1798, during which he introduced breadfruit to the island. Bligh’s first trip to the region ended with the infamous Bounty mutiny. Breadfruit remains SVG’s national dish.
SVGTA’s botanic garden anniversary celebratory events will include a National Hero’s Day tree-planting event, a Botanical Treasure Hunt for children and a Regional Floral Competition featuring a plant sale and a local crafts and art exhibition.
The events kicked off in January with a parade from Kingstown to the Gardens featuring a symbolic re-enactment of Captain Bligh’s handing over of the breadfruit plant to SVG officials.
For the original report go to http://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/st-vincents-famed-botanical-gardens-turn-250.html