Recently, Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) was able to upgrade its equipment fleet with significant in-kind support from Nick Kelly and Kelly Tractor. The Caterpillar 420DIT (pictured in front of the Loyd G. Kelly Spindle Palm Grove) is an ideal machine for MBC’s needs. Its turbo diesel and four wheel drive capabilities will allow significant advancement of MBC’s work capacity, greatly improving efficiency in collections’ care. Montgomery Botanical Center deeply appreciates this important donation.

Previously, MBC’s 1995 Caterpillar 416B saw 12 years of service; the MBC team derived maximum value from that backhoe. It was integral in helping develop the South Palmetum, building habitat for a large number of conservation collections, and invaluable in MBC’s 2005 hurricane recovery efforts. Loyd Kelly and Kelly Tractor generously donated the 416B in 1995. (Please see Montgomery Botanical’s Spring 2007 newsletter for additional information on MBC’s equipment fleet.)

The Loyd G. Kelly Spindle Palm Grove honors Mr. Kelly’s leadership and support during his tenure as president of The Montgomery Foundation from 1990 to 1996—the very important period immediately following Nell Montgomery’s passing.

The Spindle Palm—Hyophorbe verschaffeltii—is native to Rodriguez Island in the Mascarene Islands where it is in danger of extinction.