Lions press for more trees

| 19/05/2010

(CNS): The Lions Club of Grand Cayman was sending a message to the community about the need to plan more trees last week as a run up to Arbour Day, which officially was observed on Monday, 17 May. President Debbie Ebanks joined Savannah primary school children to plant a mahogany tree. The Environment Minister, Mark Scotland also joined in the gardening session. “Our goal is to ensure that tree-planting exercises are re-established in our schools,” Ebanks said.

“We used to do it regularly when I was in primary school, but it doesn’t happen as often anymore. We’re thankful for the support we’ve gained from the ministries of Education, Environment and District Administration, and hope that this year’s event will help kick-start a replanting effort.”
 
With no environmental or conservation law in the Cayman Islands no natural features are protected by legislation. As a result trees can be felled to make way for development without any compulsion for them to be replanted or replaced.
 
Adding his endorsement to the Lions initiative, Scotland who has responsibility for the environment said, “It’s very important that kids learn to care for our environment from an early age. With all the development that’s taking place, vegetation and trees are routinely cleared to make room for homes and commercial buildings. We must make sure to put back some of the trees that help bring us life.”
 
Five trees, donated by the Department of Agriculture (DoA), were planted: two at Bodden Town Primary School, and one each at Savannah, East End and North Side primaries. Trees, donated both by the DoA and Lions Club, were also planted at Government House on West Bay Road; and at the Government Administration Building, Cayman Brac High School and the Teacher Education Centre, on Cayman Brac.
Participating students were given a brief lesson on the history and many uses of the mahogany tree in Cayman. They also were taught about the importance of trees, and how to nurture freshly planted vegetation.
 
Arbour Day was first celebrated in the Cayman Islands on Monday, 15 May 1967, after then-Administrator John A. Cumber declared the third Monday in May as Arbour Day. The day was founded in 1872 by J.Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska, US.
 
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