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COVER ARTICLE: A Paradise for Economic Botanists: The Eden Project

Prance, Ghillean T.
Economic botany 2002 v.56 no.3 pp. 226-230
adults, agricultural programs and projects, botanical gardens, clay, ecosystems, education programs, ethnobotany, landscapes, rain forests, schools, United Kingdom
A description is given of the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. The Project’s purpose is to demonstrate the importance of plants to people and to promote sustainable use of plant resources. Located in a former china clay quarry, the Project has restored the landscape and built two indoor biomes under large geodesic structures: a five acre rainforest and a one acre warm temperate biome. The plantings are heavily focussed on useful plants of economic and ethnobotanical interest. The stories of many plants are also interpreted through a wide range of contemporary works of art. Eden has developed a dynamic education program at all levels from schools to Ph.D. and for adults. It has also built up a small science program with partnerships with various organisations especially in the developing world. The Project is not a conventional botanic garden, but rather a showcase for economic botany and ethnobotany. It has received two million visitors during its first year of operation.