As I noted, Tropical Forest India is taking shape! Ben and I have been very hard at work here after returning from our travels, debriefing the Conservatory staff and heading up the development process for the exhibit. We held our second round table discussion with individuals from local Indian cultural organizations at the end of January, who offered insight on our experiences and information that we will be able to apply to the displays. Ben and I are busy with the staff here synthesizing all of this information and working on an overall plan for the exhibit. One thing I can say for sure is that Tropical Forest India will be a very colorful display!
Currently, I have been working to develop our plant list and it is always growing. If you have suggestions please let me know. I can’t promise everything but am interested to hear the thoughts of our readers. We have received the first shipment of plants (water lotuses) and have potted them up and plan on growing them all summer in our greenhouses to ensure they are big and beautiful for the opening. The majority of our large trees will be ordered in the coming months and delivered well before the end of the summer.
Another interesting development is a recent collaboration between Phipps Conservatory and the University of Rhode Island, in particular working with their College of Pharmacy. This partnership has opened up connections with scientists who are currently working with medicinal plants from India. I’m sure this will prove to be a fruitful endeavor and has already helped shape some of our plans regarding the Tropical Forest India exhibit.