…I recall the distant 70s, when we, that time boys and girls, went on Sundays to walk in the Almaty Botanical Garden-an extremely exciting and delightful event. There were many people and entire groups of families, walking and picnicking, even with their pets: dogs, rabbits, turtles... Admission was free to everyone: enjoy as much as you want! Moreover, there was unreal beauty, space and freedom around all the time - in spring, summer, and autumn...
…so, we had enough walks, seen all the exotic trees and plants, finishing the ball games and badminton and catch-ups?.. Now, on any bench or in any lawn, in the shade or in the sun, you can place your dastarkhan, have snack and rest, tp play bingo and take some pics... To watch leisurely that pics the months later, during frosty winter days, happily recalling how hospitable and sunny, interesting and fun was our walks in our favorite Botanic Garden ...
More than a dozen years passed since that happy time. And all these decades were not that easy for us, which echoed the appearance of the main garden of our childhood as well. Often not in the best way. Therefore, it seems that now we have the good news: the Ministry of Education and Science together with the Almaty Akimat (Administration) intend to take a number of measures to make the Botanical Gardens one of the most vivid and unique components of the image of our city became a very pleasant surprise.
Recently the Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan, Aslan Sarinzhipov, announced: "We had a very constructive meeting with the City Akim on this issue. And now we have a full understanding of the prospects of development of the Botanical Garden. This is a very important element of the city: 100 acres of the lush green space. The Botanical Garden performs a significant scientific work as the repository of 250 thousand different plants of Kazakhstan. We have shared with the City Akim the idea on how to make Botanical Garden to be more accessible to citizens. Make it a visiting card of the city, so we will shortly develop a joint concept, will sign the memorandum and will start working on this great project on the Botanic Garden to become a famous part of Almaty.”
By the way, the Botanical Garden was opened in Almaty in 1932. Today its territory covers an area of 100 hectares. It is a garden at the height of 900 metres above the sea level. Its founders were the brilliant scientists: B.K. Shishkin, M.G. Popov, B.M. Kozo-Polyansky, N.V. Pavlov. Thanks to their work, deep knowledge and serious scientific researches, a rich collection of trees and plants was created, and the garden foundation was arranged for many decades ahead.
Every year, the Ministry of Education and Science provides with 90 million KZT for the Botanical Garden maintenance. Part of the funds, received from the visitors as a fee, is spent for the garden maintenance; however the greenhouse and technical premises still require the repair works.
Issa Baitulin, the Academician of NAS RK, reported some interesting facts about the role of botanic gardens: "First of all, botanical gardens are the research institutions involved in the development of theories, methods of plants introduction, selection from the world's flora those types and forms of plants, which needed for different purposes of the country (forestry, gardening, health et al.), making their collections for future research purposes. In addition, this is the design development, based on a scientific approach. And, of course, it is the educational activity, because gardens are visited by schoolchildren, students, residents, and everyone learns something, gets to know something new. It should not be forgotten that the Botanical Garden is a multifunctional scientific centre... "
It remains to add that perhaps very soon our favourite garden will confidently spread its green wings again to become a popular holiday destination and the place for discovering the mysteries of nature both for Almaty residents, and for many guests of the Southern Capital of Kazakhstan.