Please take a close look at these shrubs I photographed just a couple of days ago. I was standing (actually, lying down flat on my tummy on the grass) on the median strip along Fco. Medina Ascencio, across from the Sheraton, in Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone. Believe it or not, you are looking at the future of Puerto Vallarta, or at least one possibility of it. You see, these are not just ordinary shrubs. They are bougainvilleas, beautiful ornamental plants commonly found in warm climates all over the world. Of course, these particular ones hardly look ornamental! After all, they are less than a foot tall and were only planted about a week ago. But when they grow and blossom, they will look like any of these I found doing a google image search. And the best part is, they are not alone. There are already approximately 2,000 of them already planted all along the median along Fco. Medina Ascencio, from the Libramiento intersection to the beginning of Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town. Can you imagine the visual impact these beautiful plants will have on Puerto Vallarta’s main thruway once they blossom, along with their positive environmental impact? Better yet, can you actually begin to visualize the future of Puerto Vallarta?
Meet the Bougainvillea Project
Before you do, you might be curious to learn how they got there in the first place. The 2,000 bougainvilleas already planted are the result of Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens’ visionary leader Robert Price and his team’s efforts to keep Puerto Vallarta alive, literally, and in the minds and hearts of residents and potential visitors of today and tomorrow. By the time the Bougainvillea Project is complete, a total of 5,000 specimens will have been planted, in partnership with Puerto Vallarta’s Parques y Jardines (Parks & Gardens) Department all the way from the Airport to the Malecón. The work is not complete, however, and the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens are actively seeking donations from individuals like us to help make a difference. Making a contribution to this worthwhile project is very easy through their PayPal donations page. Are these plants expensive? Not at all! To give you an idea, it costs approximately $1,600 pesos (approximately $120 USD) to purchase 100 plants.
Not content with having founded the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens in 2004, today a major Puerto Vallarta attraction, Price is constantly working with other Puerto Vallarta businesses and city and state officials to ensure that Puerto Vallarta develops new attractions. Another project in the works, Palms to Pines Vallarta aims to create awareness of the scenic beauty of our southern highway, Carr. 200 Sur, along with the many interesting landmarks along the way.
Move Over, Dicks!
Last week I wrote about Puerto Vallarta’s Two Dicks, and how it may be time for us to put to bed reference to people/events that helped shape our town decades ago, and make room for new landmarks. Given the existing infrastructure, what could we use to replace them? Here are some possibilities:
With so much public art in Puerto Vallarta in the form of sculptures, you’d think Puerto Vallarta could put together a sculpture festival such as the Swell Sculpture Festival in Australia. Why don’t we?
Along the same lines, and given the fact that we do not have a shortage of sand, we could also have a sand sculpture festival like the one in the Netherlands. Why don’t we?
If there is something downtown Puerto Vallarta doesn’t lack, is steps. We could create a beautiful attraction with our Gringo Gulch steps by creating projects similar to the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project in San Francisco. Why don’t we?
Last but not least, if Robert Price’s efforts pay off for all of us, and we get involved, there is no reason why Puerto Vallarta couldn’t end up becoming a bougainvillea destination, very much like Washington, D.C. has become thanks to its annual National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Why don’t we?