Recent thefts from a research garden have set back horticultural research by several years, reports RÚV.
ALDIN is a planned biodome project to be opened in Elliðaárdalur, a nature area near Reykjavík. The biodome will use green energy to create a carbon-neutral greenhouse that aims to be not just a horticultural and educational centre, but also a restaurant, yoga retreat, and event centre. In addition to the ambitious biodome project, ALDIN also has special research gardens in Elliðaárdalur, where the suitability of different species of foreign and exotic plants are assessed for Iceland’s climate. The ALDIN biodome project won a special recognition from Icelandic president, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, last year as one of six projects nominated to receive the Icelandic President’s Innovation Award.
However, recent thefts from the garden have undermined the project, potentially setting it back several years.
Karen Róbertsdóttir, supervisor of the project, stated in an interview with RÚV that “the first year it was mostly kale and celery that were stolen. The year after that it was fruit trees and some garden tools. And this year it was pumpkins, rose bushes, and a specially-imported palm from Germany.”
She stated that almost ISK 1 million has been invested in the research garden, and that much of their research has been undermined through the thefts.
“If we’re growing plants here for several years and they’re stolen, then nothing comes of it. So what’s the point?” she stated.
The garden is protected by an enclosure and surveillance cameras, neither of which seem to have deterred the thieves.
The incident has been reported to the police.