A Major Anniversary for the Caribbean’s Oldest Botanical Gardens

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 4, 2015

Above: The Botanical Gardens in St Vincent (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

They’re the oldest botanical gardens, not just in the Caribbean, but in the Western Hemisphere: the Botanical Gardens on the island of St Vincent.

And this year, The Gardens are celebrating their 250th anniversary.

“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. “The Gardens remain an intrinsic part of our culture, our people, and the beauty that makes up our nation.  We hope visitors will make it a priority on their list of ‘must visit’ SVG attractions.”

The Gardens first launched a restoration project in Feb. 2012, and now the Kingstown-area site is celebrating 250 years with celebrations all through 2015.

The site was first created in 1765 by General Robert Melville, then-Governor of the British Caribbean islands, as a plant breeding centre and as a production facility for medicinal plants.

Six acres of land that had been previously earmarked for military use were set aside as what would become The Gardens.

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