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Frontpage News 2008 Czech NGO fund supports botanical garden

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Czech NGO fund supports botanical garden

Tábor Botanical Garden has renewed 500 metres of pathway, created aviaries for handicapped birds, and planted 1300 trees and plants with support from the EEA and Norway Grants.

Across 2.5 hectares in Tábor, the Czech Republic's second oldest botanical garden features a network of paths through a diverse flora of cactuses, mushrooms, trees, cotton and carnivore plants.

Dating back to 1886, the park was world renown in the early 20th century for its lassification of plants according to agricultural and industrial importance. A continuous wide range of collections was ensured after 1907, when the garden began swapping seeds and plants with other botanical gardens across the world. Today, the garden is co-operating with some 400 botanical gardens.

The over 140 year old garden has however been troubled by road development in recent years. After being cut asunder by a panel road in 1975, the park was faced with the prospect of being permanently covered in concrete in 1990. The foreseen permanent road was nonetheless blocked by public voting, a one of its kind referendum in the Czech Republic. In November 2000, 80 percent of the locals voted against the road. The Czech Ministry of Culture followed swiftly and declared the garden a Czech cultural monument the same year.

Reconstruction works in the garden were initiated in 2002. The pace of the works was however significantly upped in 2007, when the park was awarded a €22,500 grant from the Czech NGO fund established under the EEA and Norway Grants. The town of Tábor is co-financing the renovation project "The Botanical Garden - a place for meeting, a place for learning, a place for resting" with €3,525.

Over the last year, the Botanical Garden Protection Association in Tábor has renewed 537 metres of pathway, planted 1300 trees and plants, constructed aviaries for handicapped birds, and installed new benches and dust bins in the garden. "The project covers costs on materials and services that we are not able to provide by ourselves. The rest of the work, such as reconstruction of paths, expositions, planting, is completed with own forces for free", botanical garden manager Radoslav Kacerovský said. The botanical garden forms part of the Tábor College and Secondary School of Agriculture, and the project will also offer environmental education in the garden.