Karoo Desert NBG Celebrates 90 Years

knbg 90 yearsDuring December 2011, the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden celebrated its 90th birthday. The celebratory event was held at the recently reopened Kokerboom Restaurant at the Karoo Desert NBG. This 154 hectare Garden is one of SANBI’s nine National Botanical Gardens, and is the second oldest national botanical garden at SANBI.

The Karoo Desert NBG was established to grow and conserve plants of the arid regions of southern Africa, and is thus located in SKEP’s Central Breede River Valley priority region.

This region has approximately 1500 species of plants of which 115 are endemic. Of the endemics, 77% are succulent species.

As part of the festivities, Werner Voigt, the Curator of the Karoo NBG, welcomed the guests and took them on a stroll in and around the garden. Christopher Willis, Chief Director of Conservation, Gardens and Tourism at SANBI gave a word of thanks, recounted a brief history of the Karoo Desert NBG and launched the bird activity booklet.

The Karoo Desert NBG started in 1921 at Whitehill near the railway station at Matjiesfontein. Due to the reconstruction of the national road in the 1940's and the war it was decided to move the Karoo Desert NBG to Worcester in 1945. The land was donated by the municipality and Charles Heathlie. The Karoo Desert NBG officially opened on the 5th of September 1948 in Worcester.

Although the Desert Birds Trail was launched in December 2010, during this celebratory event the bird activity booklet was launched. This booklet has been developed for grade six school groups with the intention of increasing their knowledge of birds,  and to instill a love for nature. Printing of the booklets was made possible through generous funding received from the Roland & Leta Hill Trust.

For more information on the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden go to www.sanbi.org

Contact the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden 023 347 0785 

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