Nursery + gardens

Propagating species of timber trees is an ongoing project, as well as maintaining a nursery to grow rare and endemic species for reforestation and habitat enhancement projects on this and other lands. In 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated two decades worth of nursery-work; hundreds of young plants destroyed. After the hurricane, architect David Henebry funded and built the first post-Maria nursery.

In 2020 Thrity Vakil is working with Chad Washburn, Director of the Naples Botanical Garden in Florida, to secure funding for a new tree shade nursery. Volunteers, mostly teenagers, have passed through our project for over two decades aiding in all kinds of forest and tree work, and the significance of building a new nursery, after the project’s devastation in the hurricane, is huge, and will help to pull in, inspire and train a whole new generation in plant-work. The building of this tree nursery will take place in early 2021, and be carried out with the help of teen-age and college-age volunteer groups.

Seed & Seedling collection
Before trees can be planted, they have to be grown! It has taken over two years since Hurricane Maria for many trees to start flowering and providing seeds again, and Thrity has been out in the forest collecting various tree seeds and seedlings and nurturing them in the nursery. This is of course ongoing, and volunteers are welcome to come and help in this task.

Growing food in the project’s gardens is always a priority as well as herbs and spices for cuisine.

Ethnobotanical Trail
Since 2003, volunteer teams have assisted with the creation and maintenance of a beautiful trail through diverse forest areas. Rare endemic tree species have been planted along this trail as well as various plants of interest for medicinal and culinary use.