Erik Oswald, Vice President, Americas, ExxonMobil Exploration Company and Jeff Simons, lead country manager of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, an affiliate of ExxonMobil, today presented The National Protected Areas Commission with a gift of $20 million (USD$100,000), to advance revitalisation of the historic Botanical Gardens in honour of Guyana’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.
The gift will include the following revitalisation efforts:
- Creation of botanical labelling and signage – A catalogue of key plant species in the Botanical Gardens has been completed and will be used to prepare mounted labels on tree/plant specimens in the Gardens. A brochure and map will be produced to facilitate self-guided “plant walks” around the Gardens
- Creation of a waterfall feature at the front entrance – Waterfall to commemorate the 50th anniversary and showcase Guyana’s many natural waterfalls. The signage will include a map of Guyana marking the locations of Guyana’s array of waterfalls and their significance to indigenous cultures and Guyana’s history
- Rehabilitation of the Victoria Pond – the Victoria Pond currently features the Gardens’ collection of the rare Victoria amazonica, the national flower. The pond
will be enlarged, deepened and landscaped to better promote the Victoria amazonica with additional signage regarding its discovery and unique biology
- Installation of outdoor lights – Lights will be installed in the gardens and along the road leading to the parking lot, extending visitor hours beyond sundown. It is anticipated the gardens will be used for evening receptions; security lighting will be installed at strategic points for after-hours security
- Educational component – field trips will be offered to local public schools in the surrounding area to take advantage of the gardens and lean about Guyana’s natural environment.