The Nairobi Arboretum is to get a new boundary fence as part of an ongoing project to overhaul the park which is funded by the biodiversity conservation programme of the European Union. The fence should ensure greater protection for visitors to the 30-hectare park three kilometres west of the city centre, which has a reputation for being unsafe. Since the launch of the so-called Arboretum masterplan in 2000, the arboretum has seen the creation of a tree centre, improvements to parking facilities and the nature trails and the development of new educational materials. Improvements have been overseen by the Friends of Nairobi Arboretum (FONA), established in 1993 to help rehabilitate the park, which is managed by the government forestry department. FONA organises numerous activities at the Arboretum, including a tree walk on the last Monday of the month and the annual musical event Wind in the Trees. Created in 1907, Nairobi Arboretum contains over 350 species of indigenous and exotic plants as well as a wide variety of bird life, a population of Sykes and Vervet monkeys and butterflies. It will be the venue for this years Ecofest, a festival of music and art to raise money and awareness about the environment, 29 May-4 June. For information see www.naturekenya.org/FONArboretum.htm.
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