GARDEN´S HISTORY

HISTORY OF THE ACAPULCO BOTANICAL GARDEN
A DREAM COME TRUE

Beautiful Acapulco has a wonderful climate and flora, and for years the First Acapulco Garden Club members talked about the need of having a Botanic Garden.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the club, the members decided that they would leave a great impact project to the people of Acapulco: a botanical garden.
It was necessary to find an adequate & accessible extension of land, near the city, with some water & landscaping possibilities to create a project that would offer visitors a pleasant & peaceful place to enjoy the scenery with its native flora & fauna and introduced specimens.
The land surrounding Loyola University campus provided these requirements, so the Acapulco Garden Club and Loyola University combined their efforts and on November 2001
signed a contract of loan and restitution for the use of almost 15 acres of land.
Members got immediately to work and initial resources were obtained by means of a gala dinner, donations in kind, volunteer work and technical support.
Since the beginning, Mr. Mariano Alonso, then University Dean, Architect Jorge Madrigal, Dr. Blachere and Mr. Hugo Salinas Price participated on the project, as well as most of the club members.
On January 7th, 2002 we began to open paths to be able to evaluate & map the land, searching for points of interest such as big trees and boulders.
A land analysis and a rough master plan were elaborated. The construction of the paths immediately begun. The area was edited (which consisted of eliminating only superfluous underbrush while preserving as much as possible of the local flora) and the identification of plants was stated.
Even though a botanical garden requires many years to mature, since the chosen site was naturally beautiful due to the massive granite boulders, the local flora and the beautiful views of Acapulco Bay, a noticeable change was evident from the very beginning.
On March 2nd, 2002 the Acapulco Botanical Garden was inaugurated by Mrs. Lois Duprée Shuster, President of National Garden Clubs, Inc.
The official name in Spanish is Jardín Botánico de Acapulco “Esther Pliego de Salinas”, Esther was the main promoter of the botanic garden and it is the reason it bears her name.
Comfort and safety for its visitors, as well as challenging and adventurous areas were taken into account.
Part of the educational experience of visiting the garden is provided by offering plant classification, in order to learn, admire and enjoy the native and introduced flora.
Interesting combination of native plants that show the natural biodiversity of the area and the importance of preserving its flora and fauna became an important goal to achieve.
Pesticides and chemical fertilizers were avoided.
An Information Booth placed in the main entrance of the garden presents a garden map.
The Botanical Garden began educational and cultural activities such as the environmental guardian program, horticulture seminars, guided tours for groups of schools and visitors, tree climbing and pruning courses, arts and crafts for the women of the community recycling organic materials, as well as drama and musical events.
The Environmental Guardian Program is designed for local grammar school children in order to teach them all about ecosystems, the ozone layer, water cycles, garbage residues and biodiversity while enjoying the garden.
On February 2005 the Acapulco Botanical Garden joined the Mexican Association of Botanic Gardens and the Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI).
Planned projects of the BG have been developed in these first 10 years.
At the beginning we called it Sendero Botánico, but when Landscape architect Edward Blake came in February 2002, to give us ideas, the first thing he asked was: Why is it called Sendero?…We were just being humble! …but he said it WAS a botanical garden.
At the time we were finishing the contract with the university, so in February 2003 we changed to Jardín Botánico de Acapulco .
On January 9th. 2003 people from P & O cruises came to see if it was worth visiting. They approved and suggested the name ” Acapulco’s Nature” for the tour. Our first group of visitors came on Jan 20th of the same month.
Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Manuel Arango an amphitheater was built and it was
inaugurated on February 9th. 2004. Many musical and artistic events take place in this amphitheater.
On march 14th. 2005 a garden center with a classroom, office, rest rooms and a small store were opened. A new access with a bridge to cross over the stream, a waterfall, a pond and a picnic area have been built.
With the use of a chipper compost is made and there is a small nursery to reproduce and care for plants.
An arboretum has been created where we take care of a couple thousand native trees that we rescued from a development and will be used for reforestation.
There are identification and informative signs throughout the garden & pamphlets in Spanish and English. Today, we have a bilingual internet website and are present in social networks such as Face book and Tweeter.
There are plans to build an elevated pathway in order to preserve and admire from the tree tops the natural vegetation.
The members of the Acapulco Garden Club enthusiastically continue with their work to improve and embellish this privileged garden.

We thank our visitors and all our friends and collaborators that have worked along with us.
We will continue to open new areas, and increase our plant collection.
Since the vegetation changes according to the season; we invite you to visit each time you visit Acapulco different dry and rainy season so you can enjoy this spectacular place.

 

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