Moody Gardens

In 1988, the 37 acres of land adjacent to Belize Botanic Gardens was used as a cattle pasture.  Since that time, the flora in the area has been left to grow unmolested and it now attract many birds and other wildlife.  Trails for birding, hiking and horseback riding have been established for the enjoyment of visitors with signage and maps to better navigate through the trails.

Belize Botanic Gardens (BBG) and Moody Gardens (MG) Inc. of Galveston, Texas have teamed up to support two conservation projects at Belize Botanic Gardens. Students attending tertiary level institutions in Belize are being targeted to undertake these projects.

The first project is The Conservation of 37 acres of land adjacent to BBG.  This land was used as a cattle pasture prior to 1988, at which time it was purchased by the duPlooys. Since then the land has been left to regenerate and is considered to be a significant area for conservation of rainforest land. Participating institutions are asked to consider having their students using this land as part of their ecology/botany class and to receive credit for their work. Monitoring may need to be conducted once or twice per month but this will be left to the discretion of the participating institution. The criteria for implementing this project are:

  • Erect a sign stating that this is a joint Rainforest project between Moody Gardens and BBG.
  • Establish monitoring plots within the area.
  • Research/gather data on which plants naturally regenerate in this type of habitat.
  • Identify rare and endangered plants and make plans for the conservation of these plants.
  • Determine useful plants and create a sustainable agro-forestry harvesting plan for these plants.
  • Publish quarterly report on the progress of the project.

The second project is a conservation contest to Design a Rainforest Conservation Project within the gardens or forest area. The proposed projects must include design, purpose, and a budget. Moody Gardens will award the prize-winning student(s) and will also give financial assistance for the implementation of the prize-winning project. BBG will be responsible for the setting up the judging process, selection of judges, and supervise the implementation of the winning project.

Both of these projects will be implemented during this school-year 2012 – 2013.