BIBO PARK - Where Nature Meets Science
By Jerry Brownstein
A trip to Bibo Park is an amazing adventure that blends the experience of Ibiza’s varied nature with fascinating scientific innovations and insights.
It was created by Ibiza Botánico Biotecnológico to heighten awareness of our plant life, and to express a vision of how a better world can be achieved through biotechnology. The park offers a fascinating tour of varied landscapes that are created to look and feel like the island’s different natural habitats. This botanical garden is home to more than 30,000 plants representing 160 different species from Ibiza and Formentera. There is a wealth of information about each habitat and its flora, including colour-coded cards that tell you whether plants are thriving, rare or endangered. Along the way you will find beautiful places to relax, and technological marvels including the amazing Plant Piano. Let’s find out more by taking a walk through this enchanting environment.
Entering the grounds you immediately feel a welcoming sense of peace. Every aspect of the design is tasteful and blends perfectly with the surrounding nature. As you walk down the winding pathway each habitat springs to life.
The Dunes area replicates the massive mounds of sand behind our beaches, and the many plant species that grow in that seemingly barren ground. Around another corner you find yourself on the rocky Coastal ground that is typical of Ibiza’s north or Formentera near La Mola. Many of these plant species are exclusive to the pitiusas. The habitat for Ibiza’s Forests is more complex as seemingly similar areas have different plants depending on the type of soil, the microclimate and the age of the forest. Bibo Park shows three of these distinct types of forest vegetation.
Emerging from these habitats we come to a scale model of the massive salt flats that have been a part of Ibiza’s economy for over 2,000 years. A striking contrast to this ancient technology is the high tech Photo-Bioreactor. It uses sunlight to produce oxygen from CO2 by activating micro algae.
Similar bioreactors are being tested in the US by NASA to create oxygen for future space stations on the moon and beyond. The bioreactor also produces valuable compounds like high quality fertilizer. There is so much to see at Bibo Park that you may want to take a break during your tour. There are lovely areas at the entrance where you can sit and have a drink, or you might want to rest and contemplate at Plato’s Corner. This is a charming place to relax under the trees with the sound of a natural waterfall easing your mind.
All of the drinking water at Bibo is “Water from the Sky” that is produced by atmospheric water generators.
These machines take humidity from the air, filter it to get the right mixture of minerals, and then sterilize it with UV light. The finished product is high quality water that has never been in contact with old pipes, and is completely free of chemicals – you can taste the delicious difference. These machines are perfect for use in the restaurants and hotels on our island where water is precious.
The “Plant Piano” is an Unforgettable Experience
The most innovative technology at the Park is provided by the Spanish company Bioo. You can see their biological batteries that produce electricity from microorganisms in the soil, but that is just a hint of their vision for the future use of biology to produce electricity. Bioo has also created the coolest feature at Bibo Park: the “Plant Piano” which uses the interaction between humans and plants to create beautiful music. A series of long cylinders have plants on top, and if you touch the plant with an inanimate object nothing happens. But if you touch it with your hand an amazingly rich and beautiful sound emerges from the speakers. Each cylinder has a different sound, so you can touch several plants to create your own symphony. It feels like magic! The plants act as natural antennas that can sense the electromagnetic field of your body. Touching them changes the frequency which creates electricity that is transformed into sounds by the system. It’s a wonderful experience of connection that will bring new meaning to the power of hugging a tree or talking to your plants.
Bibo Park is a labour of love that took many years to create before it finally opened in 2020. It is continuing to grow and evolve with new areas being built and new activities added. Near Plato’s Corner there is a long wall that displays all of the edible plants of the pitiusas. Next to that a large Oasis with palm trees and flowing water is being created as another place to meet and chill out. On the other side of the park numerous cypress trees will soon become a classical maze supported by biotechnology. There are also plans to build a laboratory and seed bank for genetic studies. Bibo Park is a unique experience for the whole family, and it also offers excellent products that you can take home with you. From their large greenhouse you can buy plants that are perfectly suited to the area where you live. There is also a lovely Eco Shop with a wonderful selection of gifts and books, plus the all-natural cosmetics of Ibizaloe.
Bibo Park is easily accessible on the highway from Ibiza to San Antonio – the entrance is just after the San Rafael tunnel coming from Ibiza Town. It’s open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00.