Patriarch: one of the oldest trees in Brazil receives visits again

In celebration of its 51 years of existence on Tuesday (26), Vassununga State Park, in the city of Santa Rita do Passa Quatro, in the metropolitan region of Ribeirão Preto, received a great gift: the return of visitors who, since 2018 , are not allowed on site. The ban, which occurred even before the covid-19 pandemic, was due to the presence of wild boar, a hybrid of domestic pig with wild boar.

Now, after undergoing adjustments to ensure the safety of the public (with the implementation of the Boar Control Pilot Project) and after the relaxation of social distancing rules in early August, Vassununga reopened on Friday (22), with a special anniversary program, with exhibitions and donations of seedlings, bike rides along the trails, mini courses about snakes and native stingless bees, and bird watching.

But the park’s greatest attraction is undoubtedly the Patriarch, the name of a 42 meter tall and four meter diameter pink jequitibá that, in order to be “embraced”, requires 13 people with open arms. It is the largest tree of the species in the state of São Paulo and the second in size in Brazil. As for the age, there is controversy, with many people claiming that the Patriarch is 3,000 years old, although more recent carbon dating tests indicate between 600 and 900 years.

Vassununga, sanctuary of jequitibás

Source: Vassununga State Park/Facebook/DisclosureSource: Vassununga State Park/Facebook

Located at km 245 north of the Anhanguera Highway (SP-330), the Vassununga State Park was created in 1970 precisely to protect the largest collection of pink jequitibás (Cariniana legalis) that was threatened with destruction. In addition to the imposing trees, which earned the park the nickname “Land of Giants”, the area is home to a lowland forest and a xeromorphic savanna, in addition to the Cerrado Pé-de-Gigante, a footprint-shaped depression.

The fauna in the reserve has a great diversity of mammals, such as maned wolf, puma, wild cat, agouti, paca, irara, raccoon dog, vinegar dog, capybara, capuchin monkey and many birds.

In addition to the special activities calendar, which ends on the weekend with a mini-course on native stingless bees on Saturday (30) and bird watching with the group of Araraquara observers on Sunday (31), the park will resume visits from Monday to Sunday from 7am to 5pm. Access to the trails will be restricted to up to 20 people per time, and prior appointments must be made via the internet.

Both entrance to the park and visits accompanied by an environmental monitor are not charged. Applications can be scheduled neste link.

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