De La Salle Philippines, through the Lasallian Institute for the Environment (LIFE) proposes to build the La Salle Botanical Gardens.
The Green Response
Global climate change, floods, landslides, loss of forest cover, coral reef destruction, biodiversity imbalances — all these problems can be traced to the lack of fundamental awareness and appreciation of how our environment works and sustains life.
In line with its vision of being good stewards of God’s creation, the aspiration to build the Botanical Gardens is one of La Salle’s response to the pressing environmental and ecological challenges confronting the nation today.
The goal of this project is to provide a platform for understanding the problems and identifying potential solutions for the environment through education, scientific research, plant conservation and public participation.
The Botanical Gardens is being envisioned as the platform by which the research, education and awareness goals can be achieved. It is designed to provide the following:
• laboratory for scientific research
• a garden for plant conservation
• a means of increasing public awareness, education and appreciation
• a venue for public recreation
It will be of world-class quality, among the top in the world. It is the goal of the project to be recognized and accredited by various international botanical and environmental associations. Project Description The La Salle Botanical Gardens is foreseen to have a minimum land area of 28 hectares located just outside Metro Manila.
It will contain at least 25 themed gardens that will serve as leisure areas / laboratory / breeding ground and shall be open for the public to appreciate. Some theme examples would be: palms and pandans, ferns, spices or kitchen plants, fragrant flowers, orchids, medicinal plants, cacti or succulents, forests or jungle trees.
To address the goal of plant conservation, two important components shall be included — a herbarium and a seed bank. The LSBG will have tie-ups and partnerships with local and international botanical and scientific institutions involved in the propagation and protection of plant species and the promotion of biodiversity.
As a center of plant research, a full-scale laboratory engineered for tissue culture shall likewise be created. With this will come the necessary plant nurseries, greenhouses, libraries, classrooms, meeting rooms and other facilities that will be constructed as the need arise.
The LSBG envisions itself to be the new “go-to” place of students (field trips), families (weekend picnics) and tourists (local and international). It will likewise be a hub for social occasions (weddings, reunions) and events (concerts, sports activities, rallies, meetings). This is because the park will be equipped with several visitor and recreational facilities that will cater to small nd large groups. To name a few: lakes, ponds, open fields, amphitheater, wedding chapel, pathways, trails, playgrounds, and biodiversity museum.
The geographical dispersion of La Salle’s 16 schools across the country and the many plant collections and botanical gardens contained in these schools make a perfect background for the project. Within the faculty and staff of the La Salle Schools are able experts who will lend their research, skills and proficiency to the project.
Situated near Metro Manila, the La Salle Botanical Gardens will address more than 2.5 million elementary students and 800,000 college students. Moreover, it will be a new and exciting venue for recreation of the 14.5 million daytime population of Metro Manila, 9.4 million local tourists and 4.8 million international tourists.
As this is not purely a business venture, much of the financing will rely on benefactors. In the initial stages, the biggest requirement is the property, which will come from a willing and altruistic donor. Capital expenditure for the development and construction of the garden will come from funding agencies, grants, donations and contributions from the private and business sector.
Soon after the construction of the initial phases of the project, the garden is expected to be income generating.
Financial viability for the operations and maintenance of the garden will come from visitor receipts, venue rentals and revenue generating activities.
The La Salle Botanical Gardens project is driven by the Christian Brothers, alumni volunteers and the La Salle schools across the country,