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J. R. O’Neal Botanic Garden expansion must go forward– Hon. Pickering

- Deputy Premier declines to answer questions about Marijuana planting
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering has insisted that the expansion of the JR O’Neal Botanical Garden be forged ahead despite the fact that sources of funding and a definite plan of action have not yet taken shape. Photo: VINO
Hon. Pickering’s desire to forge ahead with the expansion of the J. R. O’Neal Botanic Garden was made known at the launch activity for the Darwin Initiative Project to map the VI's terrestrial ecosystems on Thursday, December 12, 2013. Photo: VINO
Hon. Pickering’s desire to forge ahead with the expansion of the J. R. O’Neal Botanic Garden was made known at the launch activity for the Darwin Initiative Project to map the VI's terrestrial ecosystems on Thursday, December 12, 2013. Photo: VINO
It has been said that the J. R. O'Neal Botanical Garden has outgrown its space in Road Town. Photo: VINO
It has been said that the J. R. O'Neal Botanical Garden has outgrown its space in Road Town. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering has insisted that the expansion of the J. R. O’Neal Botanic Garden must go forward despite the fact that sources of funding and a definite plan of action has not yet taken shape.

The controversial and much talked about topic of the use and planting of the marijuana plant was also put to the minister by one reporter who at the time was seeking his thoughts on the subject, but was denied an answer.

“Would you consider including the marijuana plant in the present project to give people answers on its real value?” the reporter asked.

“I hate to disappoint you. I have no comment,” Dr Pickering told the reporter.

It is currently an offence in the Virgin Islands to plant, sell or be in possession of marijuana.

Meanwhile, Hon. Pickering’s desire to forge ahead with the expansion of the J. R. O’Neal Botanic Garden was made known at the launch activity for the Darwin Initiative Project to map the VI's terrestrial ecosystems on Thursday, December 12, 2013. The 'Darwin Project' has seen the National Parks Trust (NPT) receiving some £83,915 and drawing on the expertise of the UK's Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

“… it time for us to probably expand outside of this location and my own thought is that’s we should look it at some place outside of this location like Josiah’s Bay to acquire an area where we could expand…The expansion of the gardens; that has to happen.”

Justifying his position, Hon. Pickering said the botanic garden has almost reached the limits of ability to expand. He said there is no land surrounding the area even if the National Parks Trust wanted to expand it locally.

“It’s time now to think outside the confines of where we are and just duplicate what is here now and then build on it...because I am familiar with Josiah's Bay as an area I think it would be an ideal spot to think of expanding a programme like this," Hon. Pickering stated while noting that other areas can also be explored for the expansion.

“There is already the beach and some activity with respect to cruise tourism and the ability to sell programmes for visitors. Josiah's Bay is one of those beaches that has been identified for tours so we can enhance the tour experience by putting something like the botanical gardens in what is already a tropical environment," stated Honourable Pickering.

He noted the Virgin Islands economy, as is so often said, is based on the twin pillars, financial services and tourism and what the VI has to sell as a product with respect to tourism is the environment; however, when questioned about possible sources of funding for the expansion, Hon. Pickering stated that it has not been considered at this point.

5 Responses to “J. R. O’Neal Botanic Garden expansion must go forward– Hon. Pickering”

  • mother hen (16/12/2013, 09:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another done deal
  • ------------------- (16/12/2013, 09:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    See the difference between wisdom, experience and good judegment of Dr. Pickering on the question about the marijuana question...Where as if it was the photo minister he would have go run his mouth, then poor ORLANDO would have had to go clean up behind he
    • bam (16/12/2013, 21:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's unfortunate, that some don't look at the quality of cities and rather go for the quantity
  • pat (16/12/2013, 13:30) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    "paved paradise and put up a parking lot"
    "take all the trees and put them in a tree museum".

    protect the natural habitat. If the environment was protected around particular species, one could see them in their natural setting. That is what is interesting to visitors, not a zoo for plants. But it is better than nothing. I still think Josiah's is not the place for convenient volume of tourist traffic.
  • :/ (16/12/2013, 16:14) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Is this a want or need....seriously


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