ECOLOGICAL PRESERVATION ZONE

           
  After years of petitions by the botanical garden to successive municipal administrations, on January 25, 2005, the city council of San Miguel de Allende unanimously passed a Declaration of Ecological Preservation Zone (ZPE for its initials in Spanish) of a large territory consisting of El Charco del Ingenio, Landeta Park and the zones of federal jurisdiction corresponding to the San Carlos dike, the Las Colonias reservoir and the Obraje arroyo and reservoir. This combined area covers a nucleus of 180 hectares fundamentally dedicated to environmental conservation activities, complemented by a buffer zone formed by a polygon around the nuclear zone with a radius of three hundred linear meters, making up a total of 380 hectares.  
                                   
                                   
  Although the designation of the Ecological Protection Zone is a municipal matter, it is supported by state and federal legislation on ecology, and is in keeping with the designation of Natural Protected Area regulated by said laws. The Declaration is without a doubt an important step, since it is the first protected area in the municipality, and a guarantee for El Charco‚Äôs ecological conservation project, which is increasingly affected by urban expansion and real-estate speculation.

This Declaration took effect on May 4, 2006 and was latter supplemented by an integrated Management Program, which reinforces the mandate of the Declaration. The new Regulations of the protected area restrict real-estate development in its buffer zone in terms of density, height and boundaries of constructions to be built in the future, altogether with the maintenance of native plants in the area. The purpose is mitigating the environmental and visual impact of the urban footprint upon the nuclear zone of conservation.
   
                                   
     
  El Charco del Ingenio AC is now encouraging the municipal and state authorities to expand the preservation area in both directions from the watershed upon which it is located, with the goal of protecting the resources and ecosystems of a biological corridor of great environmental and scenic value, extending from the Los Picachos range to the Ignacio Allende reservoir, crossing a section of the urban zone of San Miguel de Allende.