St. George Village Botanical Garden of St. Croix is a private, non-profit organization, established in 1972, that is dedicated to the conservation, education, and preservation of the ethno-botanical heritage of the U S Virgin Islands. It is located on a sixteen acre site just off the Queen Mary Highway. The botanical collections, including over 1500 native and exotic species and varieties, are established in and around the restored buildings and stabilized ruins of a 19th century Danish sugar cane plantation and partially overlap an Amerindian settlement which dates back almost 2,000 years.
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The Botanical Garden of the Virgin Islands
This is the new name that we are now applying to our wonderful botanical garden. It does not replace our official name (St. George Village Botanical Garden) but rather is an additional name that says who we are and is a statement of fact. It is worth a brief discussion of the role of a botanical garden and how that differs from a park or a public pleasure garden.
A park or public pleasure garden offers an attractive retreat. A botanical garden is defined as “a garden created to maintain collections of living plants for the purpose of research, conservation, display, and education. We are the only institution that meets this definition in the entire U.S Virgin Islands.
The modern botanical garden does seek to be an attractive retreat, like parks and pleasure gardens, but is so much more. The first tropical botanical garden was Pamplemousse Botanical Garden on the Indian Ocean of Mauritius founded in 1735, and it experimented to find desirable plants to be introduced into local cultivation. We continue this same tradition today.
I would also say that our conservation and education functions are the most important things we do and will be more so in the future. So the next time you are enjoying the beauty of the Botanical Garden of the Virgin Islands, consider all of the other things that go on here.