Photo: Miguel Angel de Quevedo (Some rights reserved)
The Viveros of Coyoacán is a working nursery and a not-so-secret garden in the heart of Mexico City.
This arboretum was established in the early 1900s by Mexican naturalist Miguel Angel de Quevedo. A monument to one of Mexico’s foremost conservationists stands guard at the entrance on Progresso and Universidad streets.
Lane Simonian, author of Defending the Land of the Jaguar: Natural History of Mexico, highlights Quevedo’s legacy and notes his reputation as Mexico’s ‘Apostle of the Tree.’
Quevedo’s first job in Mexico was as a supervisor of drainage works in the Valley of Mexico. He developed many projects as a response to the observation of Alexander von Humboldt that deforestation was responsible for the Mexico City’s floods. Reforestation would be key to reverse this crisis.
Initially funded in 1908, the Viveros of Coyoacán was the centerpiece of a national nursery system producing 2.4 million trees by 1914.
If you find the Otafuku statue, read the inscription: La armonía reside en proteger la vida de la tierra.
A working nursery, young seedlings are cultivated distribution throughout the
For a city park, Viveros attracts a fairly large and diverse amount of animals — some wild, some annoying. This garden is one of the best places for bird watching in the city.
A 2.1-kilometer dirt path winds around the park.
The path is used by joggers of varying speeds and is marked every 100 meters with signs put up by Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment.
The educational trail (sendero didactico) also has Spanish-language signs about biodiversity and tree names.
You’ll also see numerous black squirrels. Remember not to feed the animals … no matter how persistent they are.
In the center of the garden is an area used for bull-fighting lessons. Future matadors learn their moves. Many of the regulars can be seen at the Plaza México, the country’s largest bullring. You won’t find the bulls though. Instead students face off against wheelbarrows mounted with horns. It’s worth a look and there’s no blood.
The closest metro is named Viveros/Derechos Humanos. Head north on Avenida Universidad for one block (100 meters) and turn east (left) on Calle Progreso. The main entrance to the park (Puerto Uno) is around the corner.
The garden is located in the more beautiful corners of Mexico, the neighborhood of Coyoacán. Attractions include the former home of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo where fig trees shade a spectacular patio.
- Birthday of Miguel Ángel de Quevedo: September 27, 1862