The Arboretum (tree garden) in the far end of this town had been in a state of neglect for long. Considering its immense potential as a tourist attraction, the garden, which came into being in the early 1990s, in 2006 was converted into an attractive facility at a cost of about Rs.12.5 lakh under the Hill Area Development Programme (HADP).

Extending over about 3.5 acres, the arboretum, which was part of the wetlands of the Blue Mountains, was promoted not only as a major tourist attraction but also as an educational facility, particularly for students of botany, as it had many species of trees like cypress and alnus.

However, till now it has neither become a popular tourist spot nor a source of knowledge for students of botany.

This despite the fact that it is one of the most verdant and beautiful spots in the town and an ideal place for walking or jogging.

Full bloom

With planting operations in the flower beds nearing completion, Assistant Director of Horticulture M. Prakasam told The Hindu that they would be in full bloom by the end of April. Mr. Prakasam said there was a proposal to provide suitable benches and chairs and there was a plan to introduce items for the amusement of children.

“I hope at least during the coming season tourists will become aware of its existence,” he said, wondering whether its location was discouraging tourists from visiting it.

However, people engaged in tourism promotion said through sustained efforts the arboretum could be made to serve its purpose. They were confident that in course of time it would become a popular spot.

Keywords: ArboretumOotyHADPBotany