San Miguel de Allende
Guanajuato, México



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El Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Garden Newsletter

December, 2006 - Volume 1, No. 10

OUR MISSION: To protect and preserve our natural heritage while developing a Botanical Garden dedicated to Mexican flora and providing an oasis of peace and tranquility. Please tell your friends and prospective members/supporters how to access the newsletter and help broaden the base of support for the Botanical Garden.


In last month’s newsletter, the Board of El Charco announced it’s intention to prohibit access to dogs in the Botanical Garden in order to better protect the wildlife, the planted areas and the botanical collection exhibited in various parts of the garden.

This news provoked strong disagreement on the part of some members, especially residents of Balcones, who asked us to reconsider the measure.  The Board, as a conciliatory effort, decided to allow dogs in the garden under new rules that allow a better control on the environmental impact on the conservation area. These rules are effective as of December 10, 2006 and are as follows:


Only current members will be allowed to enter with dogs after having signed an agreement with the management of the Garden.

2. Dogs must be on a short leash at all times and are allowed only in the designated areas and trails.  Reel leashes are not allowed.

The trails where dogs may be walked are restricted to the SW zone of the Botanical Garden and along the walkway that follows the fence from the lower door in Balcones to the reception area (marked in green on map).  All other areas are strictly prohibited for dog walking.

4. Owners must immediately remove excrement from the trails.
5. In Parque Landeta it is not required to be a member to have access with dogs and dogs may be without a leash but should be constantly under the supervision of the owner.  All sections of the park are open (green zone on map) except the northern section and the area around the presa.
6. Staff from both the Botanical Garden and Parque Landeta will humanely capture dogs that are without owners and they will be immediately turned over to the Department of Ecology.
7. Non-compliance with these rules in El Charco on the part of members may result in the cancellation of membership.  In Parque Landeta, non-compliance on the part of all users will result in immediate expulsion from the park. Assistance from the police will be used in the case of resistance or re-entry.

mapa - perros


pato - duck




Our annual visitors have arrived on the northern winds to mingle with the other year round resident ducks during this winter season. 

There are many diverse and interesting species to observe.  We recommend bringing binoculars and you may purchase a bird guide at the Reception area of the garden.


There will be no session in December.  On November 16th we were treated to a demonstration by Martin Smith on how to propagate cacti.  It was informative and fascinating and we may repeat it in February for those of you who missed it. You may see photos of this session at http://www.sanmiguelphotos.blogspot.com. On the same day, there were 50 school children in the garden for an environmental education class.

Please mark your calendars for January 18th when Martin will again be our presenter.  This time, he will tell (and show) us about LANDSCAPING WITH CACTI - which ones to put together, which need sun, which partial shade, etc.  Given our local environment, xeriscaping makes lots of sense and can be beautiful so you won't want to miss this.  It will start at 9:30 and costs 70pesos for members and 100 for non-members. Please reserve by sending an email to nzerriffi@yahoo.com


Since 2002, the Botanical Garden has included this activity in its program and is currently participating in an expanded version led by Eugenia Velasco and Natalia Ortega (PEASMA).  As part of the program, hundreds of school children have participated in workshops in El Charco with the assistance of our staff.  We are planting the seeds of a culture of environmental awareness in the children of San Miguel.



Manuel Grosselet, French ornithologist and photographer who has been studying and documenting the numerous species of birds in Mexico, is showing his photos until December 15th at Recreo 4, El Recreo Espacio Cultural.



We remind you that there are two excellent books for sale at the Reception area on this topic. One is a guide to wildflowers of San Miguel by Richard Cretcher (150pesos) and the other about the 20 most important trees of El Charco, published by the Botanical Garden (60 pesos).  Learn about our native plants!

December 5th at sunset. 

We invite everyone to this open celebration that has been taking place for many years during the full moon cycle at the Four Winds Plaza in the Botanical Garden.  It’s worth arriving a little early to admire the setting of the sun and the appearance of the moon over the mountains.  We recommend bringing a coat and a musical instrument if you wish. Admission is 30pesos, free for members.

December 2 and 3 at 10:00 a.m.

A temazcal is an Indian ritual sweat lodge that benefits circulation, relaxes muscles, stimulates respiration and helps with weight loss. It is open to males and females. Bring bathing suits and towels. It takes place in the ruins of an old hacienda inside the botanical garden on the other side of the presa. Cost 250 pesos.



Limited space so please call for more details and to reserve a space, 154 8838 or cell 01-443-103-3019 or at the reception area of the garden.

VOLUNTEERING – You can make a difference

please contact Naomi at nzerriffi@yahoo.com

E-mail any comments or questions to the Editor at charcodelingenio@gmail.com