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The Botanical Garden of Bingerville (Ivory Coast): a heritage site of great wealth

The Bingerville Botanical Garden (18 km east of Abidjan) has existed since colonial times, more precisely since 1904, when Bingerville was the political capital of the colony of Ivory Coast. It was the private garden of the then French Governor, Gabriel Angoulvant, who wanted to create a garden behind his residence, which has now become an orphanage. The Governor decided to enrich the garden with plant species gathered during his travels within the colony and in the West African sub-region.

Partial view of the garden


In 1912, it became an introductory and trial garden for plants brought from other tropical and subtropical regions. It was then directed by the botanist Jolly. During World War II, activities slowed down. Trials on ornamental plants have been stopped, but they are continued on economically profitable plants, namely coffee, cocoa and bananas.

Entrance to the garden


The hope for the conservation and enhancement of this botanical garden, after abandoning the research activities entrusted to the institutes designated above, came from the decision to manage it as a museum institution. Therefore, conservation activities as well as study and dissemination actions for the purpose of education and public enjoyment are implemented. Indeed, visits are organized to allow the institution to play its social role.

An initiative was taken to enrich the site and increase its appeal: illustrious politicians were asked to appropriate a plot of land and garnish it with plants and flowers. It is obvious that this plot of land is formally identified with the name of the personality, which can ensure its continued maintenance. It also gives it a certain value and gives prestige to the botanical garden.

A.M.
 

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