July, 2009 - Volume IV, No. 7
OUR MISSION: To protect and preserve our natural heritage and help build an environmental culture while developing a Botanical Garden dedicated to Mexican flora and providing an oasis of peace and tranquility for all.
Please tell your friends and prospective members/supporters how to access the newsletter and help broaden the base of support for the Botanical Garden.
Since its beginnings in 1991, this celebration is held every year in July to commemorate the foundation of the Botanical Garden as well the rescue of this magnificent ravine – a project that not only preserves El Charco as an ecological reserve but also as a ritual space for local indigenous communities of San Miguel. The image of the Santa Cruz goes back to the wars of Conquest of the 16th century and the foundation of our city. As such, Charco del Ingenio is a sacred territory for the communities of the Santa Cruz, urban as well as rural, who come to the annual festival.
The ceremony starts in the Plaza of the Four Winds and the cross is carried to the four cardinal points of the Botanical Garden where the protective shrines are located. It finishes with the installation of the cross in Parque Landeta where the fiesta continues all day with ritual dances, music and more.
As in 2008, the July summer camp will have an artistic and recreational focus for most of its activities and workshops: working with plants in the nursery, recycled paper, temascal, rock-climbing, rappelling, trekking, making mojigangas, horseback riding and more. All activities will be under the guidance of 2 trained leaders, Hermes Arroyo and Jesus Bautista. Accept the challenge and experience the adventure in an extraordinary natural environment.
Boys and girls from 6 to 15 years old.
GARDEN LECTURE SERIES
Mark Hill and Josh Ellsworth of Ecosystem Sciences will talk about their ongoing work on a project called: Todos por el Agua: A shared solution to protect water resources in San Miguel de Allende. According to Hill and Ellsworth, to ensure a more sustainable future for San Miguel de Allende, all its citizens will have to share the costs, benefits, and risks of water use and conservation. Currently, the labor and money required for the proper management of soils and other natural resources are too costly for our small farmers and rural communities.
Todos por el Agua is creating a public and transparent system for collaboration in which local water users pay farmers and other landowners in the upper watershed to protect and restore their land to promote the retention and infiltration of water and the biodiversity of native ecosystems. At the same time, Todos por el Agua is promoting a “culture” of water conservation that will reduce water use and facilitate a clear connection between water users and their rural neighbors. The program operates in three distinct areas: the promotion of the program and collection of payments from water users; development of a transparent institution to administer the collected funds; and the implementation of water protection and ecological restoration projects. Similar programs have been successfully developed and implemented in other countries and in the municipalities of Coatepec, Veracruz and Saltillo, Coahuila.
Todos por el Agua is being implemented by Salvemos al Rio Laja, A.C. and Ecosystem Sciences Foundation. The project is supported by Fondo Mexicana para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza A.C. (fmcn.org), USAID, and the Tinker and and Overbrook Foundations.
Mark Hill is the principal scientist in Ecosystem Sciences, a scientific and environmental design consulting firm, and has over 35-years of experience in the environmental field. Mr. Hill conducts large-scale watershed ecosystem studies and research, provides expert testimony for environmental litigation, and is a scientific advisor to several national and international organizations. Mr. Hill has published widely on stream and river restoration and ecosystem management and is a recognized expert nationally and internationally. Their successful river restoration of the Lower Owens River Valley in Northern California is an interesting example of what can be done (http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/08/local/me-owens8). To learn more visit http://www.ecosystemsciences.com/ .
Josh Ellsworth has 15 years of experience with restoration ecology, forestry, wildlife biology, community development and environmental economics. He is an expert on invasive plant biology and control and has managed numerous public and private ecological restoration projects.
Come and find out more about their work here and how it affects us.
For the inauguration of this new Donor’s Garden, we would like to invite our donors, members, and friends to join us, and just after the inauguration, a musical treat in Nature ... We hope to see you there.
June Planting for World Environment Day
As every year at this time, the Botanical Garden sponsored a day of planting in the north zone of the Charco on June 22, World Environment Day. With the support of Reforestamos Mexico and Save the Children Mexico, through its Environmental Education program (PEASMA) and with the participation of 160 children from five different schools in San Miguel, 400 specimens of Cucharilla (Dasylirion Acrotriche) were planted. This succulent species, native to this region, is traditionally used in ritual offerings by local communities and is in danger of extinction because of increased harvesting of the wild plant in the countryside.
If you would like to make a difference also, we are looking for people to assist with membership, events and workshops, coordinate volunteers, become tour guides and help with fundraising. If you would like to learn more, contact Naomi at email@example.com.
Shuttle Service between El Charco and downtown San Miguel:
This new program got off to a shaky start with some technical problems but the service is now operational providing visitors with round-trip transportation to and from the Botanical Garden from the historical center of San Miguel. It is a small bus with capacity of 17 passengers that will provide service every day, every two hours, leaving from the corner of Juárez and San Francisco, in front of the church. The cost is 20 pesos per person per trip, 40 pesos for round-trip. The schedule follows:
Yoga “Desde el corazón” (from the Heart)
Enjoy a wonderful yoga experience in a perfect setting. Those who are familiar with this ecological site know that the experience starts at the entrance, its beauty immediately filling our senses. The harmony, silence, peace, clean air, plants and animals make this place a fountain of inspiration in which to practice yoga in San Miguel. El Charco del Ingenio offers a perfect mix that invites our senses to open up to the natural beauty around us and within us.
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10a.m.-12:30p.m.
It’s worth arriving a little early to admire the setting of the sun and the appearance of the moon over the mountains. You may want to bring a coat for cool evenings. Admission is 30 pesos, free for members. Children welcome. Any questions, call Alicia Mayo at 152 -0376.
You can make a difference
And you can make a difference with your contribution - volunteer or donate. We appreciate your support!! Please contact Naomi at firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail any comments or questions to the Editor at email@example.com
“Botanical Gardens are not just places for conserving and displaying plants. At the dawn of the new millennium, they are main actors in the defense and protection of the planet’s biodiversity, with a growing focus on the regional – thinking globally and acting locally. And they are also builders of a new environmental culture for the societies that inhabit the Earth.”