field trip to learn about the plant system in Jamaica

by Nikki
(St. Catherine, Jamaica)


I am a teacher at the Southborough Primary School in St. Catherine. We are desirous of taking a group of children on a field trip to learn about the plant system in Jamaica in preparation for their upcoming GSAT examination.

The Forestry Dept. is being renovated. Do you know of any where else that could accommodate us?

The date we have in mind is February 27.
Thank you for your help.

ANSWER: by Wellesley, January 2014

Hi Teach,
Thanks for asking!

As promised, I have done some checks. And by the way, I did speak to the Forestry Department (876-924-2667/8 address: 173 Constant Spring Road, Kingston). They suggested Hope Gardens as well.

And by the way, they do have plants there right now, just call the number above and ask for the PR department.

But I am also thowing in a few from our own research published in the Jamaica Insider Guide under the category "Education Sites and Attractions In Jamaica"

Just be sure to call and get further information or make a reservation before finalizing the plans.

Here they are:

  1. Cockpit Country Interpretive Center (876-844-1940/381-8012)

    The Cockpit Country is Jamaica’s largest remaining rainforest, portions of which are located in three adjoining parishes(the heart of the forest is located in filled with “cockpits” (conical hills and deep depressions), as well as underground limestone caves, and surrounded by thick, lush forestry, the area provided a natural defense for the Maroons during slavery.

    Due to its diversity of plant and wildlife, as well as its rich history, The Interpretive Centre was constructed to increase awareness and understanding of the environment and encourage protection and enhancement of the region.

  2. Castleton Botanical Gardens Tel 927-1257

    Located on 15 acres of land, the Castleton Botanical Gardens were established in 1862 as a relocation project for the Bath Botanical Gardens. The gardens host a wide collection of some of the most exotic trees, fruits and plants in Jamaica. Separated on one side by the Junction main road, it is adjacent to a rocky seasonal river bed.

  3. Canoe Valley National Nature Reserve

    The Park occupies 3000 acres and is made up of mangrove swamps, limestone forests and herbaceous forests. The name Canoe Valley is said to have originated from the time of the Tainos, as the area used to be populated with cotton trees used by the Amerindians to carve canoes and other small craft. At last count, the reserve contained 4 amphibian species, 7 bat species, 23 reptile species and 93 bird species.

  4. Bath Botanical Gardens

    Established by the government in 1779, this is the second oldest botanical garden in the western hemisphere. Many of the exotic plants and trees that were introduced to Jamaica were first planted here. There are also ruins; covered with vines; of what used to be majestic buildings (over 100 years old), which help to tell the history of what used to be one of Jamaica’s most fashionable towns – Bath, St Thomas.

  5. Athenry Gardens Tel 993-3740/779-7144

    Athenry Gardens is a lush 3 acre botanical garden that features coconut palms as well as other plants and flowers. The gardens also include the Nonsuch Caves, which are underground caverns believed to be 1½ million years old. These caves are full of stalactites, rare fossils and remains of the Arawak Indian civilization.

  6. Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains National Park- 876 922-1287

    This Park houses a wide range of animal and plant species, consisting of resident as well as migratory birds. The rare species of birds are found in this Park, along with indigenous plants and trees. The Park was established in 1990 to protect forest reserves and covers 196,000 acres in the Blue Mountains.

  7. Cinchona Botanical Gardens Tel: 929-9200 /927-1257

    Originally a plantation, the Cinchona Botanical Gardens was so named after the cinchona tree from which quinine (the first treatment for malaria) was acquired. It was established in 1868 and is the only garden of its type in the Caribbean and is situated at an altitude of between 4,500 and 5,500 ft above sea level.

    The garden contains global varieties of temperate and semi-tropical flowers and trees, including: eucalyptus trees, rubber trees, cork oak trees, lilies and Asian tea trees, complete with a panoramic view of the capital city of Kingston, as well as the Blue Mountains and Strawberry Hill.

  8. Mason River Wetlands and Game Sanctuary

    A protected habitat for local and regionally restricted species of horticulture and wildlife, as well as a refuge for endangered species, this reserve was opened to protect regenerating forestry and botanical vegetation from human interference and degradation. It also provides education concerning wildlife conservation and management.

  9. Shaw Park Botanical Gardens Tel: 974-2552/974-2723

    Situated 550ft above sea level, the Shaw Park Botanical Gardens offer spectacular aerial views of the Jamaican landscape. The 25 acre garden is filled with several species of unusual tropical flowers, plants and trees – including a huge banyan – set amidst grassy lawns, with a cascading waterfall as a centre piece.

The are probably a few more, I just made a quick extract from the Jamaica Insider Guide

I hope this helps.

See also: Plants And Animals In Jamaica

Wellesley, for

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Jan 28, 2014
Permaculture Course in March NEW
by: Faheemah Luqman

Hi Nikki,

I hope that you and your students find a suitable venue for your field trip.

I'm looking for students to attend a Permaculture course I'm running in Westmoreland in March. I believe our course would be more suitable for over 16's/adults however. Please inform me if you know of anyone who might be interested.

Permaculture is a branch of ecology which deals with design for sustainable living: organic farming, forestry, low-impact construction, site surveying, community regeneration, education, trade and economics etc.

Info about the course is available as follows:

• Video Interview:
• Radio Interview:
• Course Details:

Thanks for any advice you or other readers can offer.

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