- By: Opadeji Samuel
The questions that would approximately be on a reminisce in the hearts of most students on campus is “What’s The Usefulness Of The Botanical Garden?”
Being a scholar of special plants, I would have more than usual interests in plants, but in the case whereby my institution botanical garden is always left unopened sequel to unknown reasons to students on campus, would my interest not be at the grave? Of course, the management might have varieties of reasons not to open the botanical garden, the reasons might not be visible enough, but the questions students would often ask is “would I pay to visit other institutions botanical garden when my institution has it’s own.
On the admission of students who love plants and gardens into the institution, without any modicum of doubt, the joy that would be in their hearts will be sine qua non to their thoughts, because the management has actually meets their needs.
On the parts of the students on campus who study science related field like those who study Biology as a discipline, on the outline when plants are been taught, ain’t they into practical aspect of the course related to plants? Or probably they visit other institutions botanical garden.
Amidst the importance of botanical garden on campus is that they are not only of value to botanists, horticulturists and foresters but also to the million of tourists. In which, the institution on it’s own can serve as a tourist center. Sometimes, if peradventure some basic questions are asked from bonafide students on campus of the tourists center in her institution, of course the response will be the negative, sequel to the fact that there’s none on campus, but there’s actually one which Is the botanical garden.
Following the roles of botanical garden on campus, few roles are listed below which serves as reasons why the botanical garden needs to be open for use.
- Taxonomic Studies; botanical garden provide valuable information on various plants, local flora, bonsai, rare plants etc. They act as outdoor laboratories for students’ and researchers.
- Botanical Research; Botanical gardens supply wide range of plant species, seeds, flowers, fruits for botanical research.
- Conservation; botanical gardens conserve and propagate rare species and genetic diversity.
- Education; Botanical Garden supplies facilities for courses in local flora, horticulture, hybridization, plant propagation, etc. There educational programmes include workshops, training session for teachers, students, naturalists etc.
- Public Services ; They help the public and students on campus identify local and exotic plant species, provide instructions for home gardening, propagation of plants, supply plant resource, through sale of exchange.
- Aesthetics and recreation; They attract people who have made gardening their hobby.
- Employment; They create job opportunities for a large number of young botanists.
Botanical gardens and Herbaria are important places of systematic study and research on flora of the region. These are the places of great academic and economic importance.
When a thing lost the purpose for which it was created, it undoubtedly does more evil than good, as it ordinarily negates its initial purpose and also results into unfathomable complications. Though, the botanical garden has been in a sorry state for years, this is high time it fulfilled the purpose of its creation, that every student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan can indeed beat his chest to say “My school has a functional botanical garden!”
This article might serve as a clarion call to the management of the institution on the state of the botanical garden, for it has more usefulness and advantages to students rather than its disadvantages.