Quick Facts about ICTB at The Kampong
In 2014, Florida International University created the International Center for Tropical Botany (ICTB) at The Kampong in partnership with the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The purpose is to strengthen botanical research and education — counteracting a trend of diminishing research dollars for plant science, which has resulted in the shuttering of botany programs at many research universities. The creation of ICTB ensures FIU is doing its part, in line with institutions like Harvard and Northwestern University, to train graduate students and make sure there will be no shortage of capable botanists and researchers. Our scientists are addressing environmental challenges including food insecurity, biodiversity loss and climate change as well as researching plants for new medicinal uses. Our goal is to conserve plants and improve lives everywhere.
A new facility for the ICTB will be housed at The Kampong, the historic estate of world-renowned plant explorer Dr. David Fairchild. The Kampong is one of South Florida's original botanical research centers, in operation since Dr. Fairchild purchased the property in 1916. ICTB will continue Dr. Fairchild's work and help preserve his legacy.
FIU plans to construct a new research and education center at The Kampong. Research projects include preserving tree canopies, reducing toxic algal blooms, mitigating sea level threats, improving pollination, combating plant extinction, discovering new species and supporting sustainable farming.
Being a Good Neighbor
FIU and the International Center for Tropical Botany (value the importance of being a good neighbor. Since 2016, ICTB has hosted more than 35 meetings to discuss plans for the research center and to encourage feedback from neighbors. In response to neighbor recommendations, FIU made more than four dozen requested and voluntary changes to its original proposal. FIU voluntarily proffered a covenant to the City of Miami restricting its own property rights in perpetuity. These restrictions, including lighting, courses offered, and hours of operations, among others, are designed to minimize impacts to traffic and to the quality of life for neighbors.