447 Trees Planted on 11.11.11 in Saint Lucia

- Written by National Trust

It is amazing how much could be achieved in one day when like minded people come together for a good cause. Approximately 200 persons participated in a „Tree Planting Initiative‟ organized by the Saint Lucia National Trust in collaboration with the Forestry Department on Friday, November 11, 2011. This activity was filmed as part of a media participatory project dubbed “One Day on Earth” which saw film-makers and other groups recording various stories which they wanted to encapsulate on 11.11.11.

Recognizing the importance of our forests, especially as we join the rest of the world in observing the International Year of the Forest, our colleagues at the Forestry Department selected areas which were in need of rehabilitation due to severe damage by Hurricane Tomas in 2010. The sites selected were three (3) landslides in Forestierre; two (2) landslides in Belle Vue in Vieux Fort; a degraded area near a watershed in Fond Doux in Soufriere and four (4) sites along the Mabouya Valley River Bank in Dennery. Approximately four-hundred and forty-seven (447) native and indigenous trees were planted in the four (4) locations, of the 447 trees about eighty (80) were fruit crops which were planted along the Mabouya Valley River Bank.

We are delighted that representatives from a myriad of agencies decided to participate in this project. They included the Bank of Saint Lucia; Bank of Nova Scotia; Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited; the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation; the Rotary Club of Saint Lucia; Our Planet Centre; Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia; the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries (specifically the Agriculture and Forestry Departments); the Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance and members and staff of the Saint Lucia National Trust. What was most heartwarming is the number of students who participated and exhibited such enthusiasm to be a part of the activity. They hailed from Carmen Renee Memorial School, Grande Riviere Secondary, Sir Ira Simmons Secondary, Babonneau Secondary, St. Joseph‟s Convent and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. Special thanks to Mr. Konrad Wagner and his colleagues of the Rotary Club for assisting us in mobilizing most of the aforementioned schools. We must also point out that this activity would not have been achieved without guidance and assistance from Mr. Alfred Prospere and the team at the Forestry Department.

This project also forms part of the Trust‟s contribution to the Queen‟s Diamond Jubilee Celebration, where countries in the Commonwealth were challenged to undertake a tree planting initiative. Our target is to plant 5000 trees in an effort to rehabilitate the some of the riverbanks across the island. Additionally, a few easily accessible areas will be identified by the Trust and the Forestry Department for interested groups. That project is expected to take place between December 2011 and June 2012. All trees planted on 11.11.11 will count towards meeting our 5000 target for the Jubilee Celebration.

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