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Expansion of the Vallarta Botanical Garden's Preserve

June 14, 2017

A bird's-eye-view of the Vallarta Botanical Garden and some of the surrounding tropical dry forest preserve. (Aerial photography by Greg Homel Pilot: Cheryl L. Wheeler)

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Of the myriad ways we can work to help conserve our planet's precious natural resources, perhaps none is more impactful than conserving critical wild habitat. Tropical dry forest, like that surrounding the Puerto Vallarta region, is disappearing at an ever-increasing rate around the globe, threatening plants, animals, and the integrity of entire ecosystems.

Now, thanks to the generous support of Garden members, and especially to recent lead gifts by Ralph Osborne of the Garden's Board of Directors, our forest preserve has expanded from 6 to over 23 hectares within this past year and a down payment has just been made to purchase another two hectares.

This, along with the developed parts of the Garden, with infrastructure and formal landscaping, will place our organization's total terrain at over 27 hectares (nearly 70 acres). Much of this land borders the federal zone of the Los Horcones River, the banks of which are especially rich in plants as a riparian zone and of critical importance to many native animals.

The new land was purchased with funds from restricted gifts stipulating that the land never be developed, but rather stay in its wild natural state for perpetuity as a refuge for native flora and fauna. This greatly increases the Garden's value as a research center. Several leaders on the Garden's Science Advisory Board picked up on this right away and are exploring ways to help us complete preliminary floristic surveys of this new land to know exactly what we have to protect.

Two of the foremost local threats for which we need to remain vigilant are against poaching and wildfires. Our first step to help ward off potential poachers is fencing off the land and installing signage. We're also looking into the possibility of installing motion-detected cameras, which have the dual benefit of providing us with images of the local wildlife. A few weeks ago we were harshly reminded of the destructive power of wildfires in our forests as hundreds of hectares burned for six days. The fires came to within just a few kilometers of our property and we were socked in with smoke and ash.

As forested land near the Vallarta Botanical Garden continues to become cleared for building homes, grazing cattle, and various other uses, it's more important than ever to secure additional preserve property by purchasing remaining tracts of intact forests before they are destroyed. Please feel free to Contact Me, or any of my colleagues on the Garden's management team (322-223-6182) for more information or to pledge your tax-deductible contributions to further land acquisition.

Together we can work to protect the integrity of our local wild areas far into the future!

Visit the internationally famous Vallarta Botanical Garden located just 30 minutes south of Old Town at Km. 24 on Highway 200 and easily accessible by public transportation and taxi. This 60 acre wildlife preserve and botanical garden have something fun for everyone. Over 200 species of birds have been observed on the Garden's grounds. Don't forget to bring your swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the jungle river. See plantings of vanilla, chocolate, and hundreds of other botanical delights! Authentic Mexican Cuisine is served in the Hacienda de Oro Restaurant from 10 am to 5 pm. The Garden is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm (closed Mondays from April 1 to December 1). The Puerto Vallarta Butterfly Festival August 15 through October 30. Garden admission is just $150 pesos. For more information, call (322) 223-6182 or visit

Click HERE to learn more about Vallarta Botanical Garden.