Earth Day Addition of Rare Palms Expands The Retreat Garden’s Collection

Earth Day Addition of Rare Palms Expands The Retreat Garden’s Collection

May 5th, 2023 – Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) celebrated Earth Day 2023 by planting six rare palm trees at The Retreat Garden, expanding the national park’s exotic collection. The Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) donated the trees, which along with a native mahogany were planted as part of the BNT’s “50 for 50” tree planting campaign – an initiative to plant 50 trees across The Bahamas on the road to the country’s 50th Independence this year.

Honorable guests at the event included Minister of Environment & Natural Resources the Hon. Vaughn Miller, and representatives from the Department of Environmental Planning & Protection (DEPP), the Bahamas Wildlife Enforcement Network (BahWen), RBC, and ALIV.

Celebrating Earth Day 2023’s theme of “Invest in Our Planet,” the MBC donation comes as the BNT actively strives to add more palm species to The Retreat Garden. Chantal Curtis, BNT New Providence Parks Manager & Parks Planner, said: “We’re excited by the opportunities provided by our new partnership with the Montgomery Botanical Center. We thank them for their valuable contribution to this beautiful, exotic botanic garden here in The Bahamas, and we can’t wait to see the fruits of this partnership.”  

MBC also participated in the BNT’s National Parks Day celebrations this year, which took place on April 22. Dr. Larry Noblick, MBC Palm Biologist, and Andrew Street, MBC Curator of Palms, gave special presentations as part of activities at The Retreat on the day that invites the public to enjoy access to national parks with various outdoor activities for free.

Established in 1959, the mission of the Montgomery Botanical Center, a non-profit institution, is to advance science, education, conservation, and horticultural knowledge of tropical plants, emphasizing palms and cycads; and to exemplify excellent botanical garden design in its 120-acre garden.

The Retreat Garden is a unique urban national park which protects 11 acres of native coppice.  Once privately owned by Margaret and Arthur Langlois, it became the third-largest collection of rare palms in this hemisphere under their care. The couple traveled with David Fairchild of Fairchild Tropical Gardens, collecting seeds and bringing them home to The Retreat, where they grew and thrived. Now, The Retreat Garden is one of 32 national parks managed by the BNT across The Bahamas, and serves as the site for popular festivals such as Jollification and Wine & Art.

To learn more about the role the BNT plays to manage terrestrial and marine national parks, protect species that inhabit them, and inform environmental policy, please visit its website: and follow/subscribe to various social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.


Media Contact: Leah Carr | | (242) 429-7902

About the BNT:

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of The Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility, the BNT works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas through stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 32 National Parks managed by the BNT with more than 2 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.

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