Bulat Utemuratov is a famous person. Businessman’s fortune is estimated at 2.6 billion dollars, and this provides him with the 924th line on the list of the world’s richest people. However, in Kazakhstan Utemuratov is known not only as an entrepreneur, but also as a benefactor, who, using his own resources, supports the development of health, education, science, culture and sport. One of the last projects of the patron is the reconstruction of the Main Botanical Garden of Almaty.
Background of the project
The main botanical garden in the city of Almaty is a special nature preservation zone of national importance. Paleobotanical collection, seed and herbarium funds, living plants of rare species. More than 2500 exhibits are the national treasure of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The garden is of a great importance for the development of science, and most of its territory is run by the Institute of Botany and Phyto-Intrusion. However, due to insufficient funding, the facility is falling to decay. Problems with water supply threaten the survival of rare plants, which were collected by scientists for over 90 years. Unattractiveness of its territory for visitors, residents and guests of the city, lack of proper control at the entrance, all these factors make it impossible to raise funds in tickets, which could become an additional income item.
The last time the botanical garden was reconstructed in 1955. Since then, a lot of problems have accumulated, and public funding, insufficient to solve serious problems, had to be divided into three botanical gardens – Almaty, Illiysky and Zhezkazgan.
Bulat Utemuratov charity foundation is going to spend $15 million to renovate the garden. It is emphasized that this will not be an investment, but a gift to the residents of Almaty. Control of the distribution of funds as well as all works will also be carried out by the foundation.
Special features of reconstruction
Botanical garden is not a park, that is why there are certain difficulties in its improvements: the scientific base and biodiversity of the object should not be affected. That is why the foundation attracted experts and the best landscape designers who prepared the reconstruction project. The plans include:
- restoration of water supply, engineering systems, lighting and video surveillance;
- building tracks and paths, installation of benches;
- planting new exhibits, expanding scientific collections;
- arrangement of convenient access roads, modern infrastructure;
- use of new technologies: electronic guide, the ability to read information about exposures from a mobile application or QR-code.
The reconstruction is planned to be completed by the end of 2019.