San Luis Botanical Garden
Monteverde is home to more than 3200 species of plants including 500 species of orchids and 700 species of trees. At the San Luis Botanical Garden we host a small representation of the magnificent diversity of plants from this part of the world. The Garden Manager, Lucas Ramírez, who has a deep appreciation and knowledge about the flora of Monteverde, offers a garden tour in which he explains in detail the importance of plant conservation and the use of medicinal plants.
In the summer of 2003, six UGA landscape architecture students spent about a week on-site developing the garden's master plan under the tutelage of faculty member Gregg Coyle from UGA's College of Environment & Design. The students started from scratch, walking the designs from conception to completion. They finished with a plan to convert a five-acre area that previously contained an agricultural plot, some open pasture, and forest into a low impact sustainable design utilizing many native plants. With the help of several key university figures, the plan has been implemented and now the new garden—Jardin Botanico de San Luis—is in full bloom, offering not only a delightful spot for a nature walk, but also an excellent educational opportunity for researchers and students alike. Ongoing additions include photometal labels being prepared at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia to help visitors identify plants in the collections and along the trails. Interpretive signage also is being developed.
Jeff Lewis - Director, State Botanical Garden of Georgia.
James Affolter - Director of Research, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Professor of Horticulture
Quint Newcomer - Director, UGA Costa Rica
Fabricio Camacho - General Manager, UGA Costa Rica
Paul Duncan - Assistant Director, UGA Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute
Lucas Ramirez - Garden Curator, UGA Costa Rica
Read an article by James Affolter on UGA Costa Rica's Botanical Garden...
In addition to the native flora, the garden boasts a collection of over 80 medicinal plants as well as several arboretum trails. The medicinal plants have been the subject of much research, most notably by Douglas A. Patton of UGA, whose thesis addresses the importance of medicinal plant usage in the San Luis community.
Thanks to a generous donation from Mission College students and their program director Jean Replicon, in 2008 UGA Costa Rica built a greenhouse in the San Luis Botanical Garden. The greenhouse is used to germinate new plants for the garden, and also tree seedlings for the site's ongoing Carbon Offset Program.