Giving Back to Nature: Earth Day Tree Planting Initiative

The Tree Planting Initiative aimed at rehabilitating the River Banks in the five Forest Ranges; Northern, Dennery, Millet, Quillese and Soufriere got off to a great start on Earth Day which was observed on Sunday, April 22nd. Some 115 persons planted approximately 941 trees; 250 at the Marquis River, 300 at Mabouya River, 125 at the Roseau River, 60 at Augier River and 206 at the Canaries River.
Considering that many of the river banks which were rehabilitated were on private farms, we were advised by the Forestry Department to plant mostly fruit trees as well as a few forest trees at the various sites. The trees planted included nutmeg, cherry, mango, cinnamon, wax apple, lime, bread nut, pomegranate, mahogany and cocoa. This way the trees will be nurtured by the land owners and farmers in the coming months and years as they will help to stabilize the soil and serve as buffer during heavy rains and floods. Of equal importance is the fact that these trees have the potential to provide economic returns to the farmers in the long run as many of them suffered terribly after Hurricane Tomas in 2010.
The Trust thanks its partners; RISE (St. Lucia) Inc., the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports and the Forestry Department for all the hard work that went into making this project a success. All participants must be commended for taking a moment to give back to nature. The participants were Lucian Aid Foundation, RISE (St. Lucia) Inc., the Superstars Club in Anse la Raye, Sampo Farms, Peace Corps Volunteers, Caribbean SEA, Caribbean Youth Environmental Network, SLNT members and staff, the Forestry Department and the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association (SLBWA). It must be noted that two of the SLBWA representatives were visually impaired. Their participation highlighted the importance to ensure that persons with disabilities are always included in all spheres of society.
It is also commendable that although both Earth Day as well as Global Youth Service Day fell on a Sunday, children from as young as 1 ? half years planted trees as a show of appreciation for the Environment. Participating schools included Camille Henry Memorial School, Canaries Primary, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and Leon Hess Secondary. Despite the scorching heat and the small size of some of the groups, everyone worked together to plant some 941 trees on Earth Day 2012. That plus the 447 trees which were planted on 11.11.11 for the “One Day on Earth” Project now brings us to 1338 trees.         As such, we now have approximately 3662 trees to plant in order to fulfill our challenge by the Governor General to plant 5000 trees by June 2012 for Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee. The Trust encourages the general public to help us to achieve this target as we aim to continue our efforts on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 in observance of World Environment Day.

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