From 24th - 26th April the Francisco Javier Clavijero Botanic Garden in Xalapa, Mexico, held its Garden Day.
The festival was framed by the National Botanic Gardens Day and Plant Conservation Day (18th May) and aimed to foster awareness about the sustainable uses of Mexican plant diversity. A wide range of events, including activities dealing with wild plants and animals, art, leisure and education, were held to highlight the relationships between humans and the natural environment.
Garden staff employed a wide variety of educational, artistic and scientific methods to communicate the importance of plant biodiversity and the vital contribution of scientific centres, like botanic gardens, to plant conservation. A large number of children and adults from schools and families spent the days taking part in the activities alongside professional horticulturists.
Workshops about Mexican cycads and birds of prey were carried out and an exhibition (with input from researchers of the Instituto de Ecología, A.C) was on display, detailing what an herbarium is, mushroom culture, in vitro plant tissue culture and a very interesting display about spiders' behaviour!
The cloud forest surrounding Xalapa is a real reservoir for wildlife, especially birds. The Xalapa Birdwatchers led some birdwatching tours and were able to identify several migratory species!
Guided tours had excellent attendance, not only those led by garden staff but also the tour conducted by Charles Darwin himself, who came to the garden to lead a trip with the visitors through his life and findings, offering a message of sustainability at the end!
Some storytellers and other artists participated as well. This event was the fourth Garden Day at Francisco Javier Clavijero Botanic Garden, which has been celebrated since 2006.