Volunteers wanted for weekend tree plant project

| 03/06/2010

(CNS): With so many of Cayman’s endemic and native plants under threat the Department of Environment (DOE) is marking this year’s World Environment Day (Saturday, 5 June) with a tree planting project.Volunteers are wanted to help plant 64 native trees around Grand Cayman to boost the island’s embattled native flora. World Environment Day is one of the biggest, most widely celebrated global days for positive environmental action. As a result the DOE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie said it was an appropriate day to do something positive as well as draw attention to the treat which the islands’ natural environment faces.

 
“As unfortunate as it is, our local plant species have no legal protection and are increasingly under pressure from development and invasive exotic species. As a result, many of our endemic and native plants and trees are either threatened or endangered. We hope that this native tree planting project will raise awareness of the need to protect our native flora and help to enhance the Islands’ biodiversity,” said DOE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie, as she asked local volunteers to come out and be part of the global Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign.
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Saturday’s tree planting will start at 8 a.m. at the following locations: The Al Al Park in West Bay, Success Circle Park off Crewe Road on Palm Dale Dr., Washington Blvd (Swamp) Park in George Town, Harry McCoy Park in Bodden Town, Cumber Park in Bodden Town, and the Rugby-Football Club in South Sound.
 
The department needs volunteers to help and said they should bring sun block, hats, gloves and shovels if they can.
 
On behalf of her department Ebanks-Petrie thanked project partners – Recreation Parks & Cemeteries Unit, The National Trust and Rotary Sunrise – as well as sponsors – the Queen Elizabeth Botanic Park, East End Gardens & Gifts, Car City, Maples and Calder, Fosters Food Fair IGA and Hurley’s Supermarket.
 
On Cayman Brac, the Ecotourism Unit will lead a beautification project for Salt Water Pond Trail. Volunteers are needed to help clear the trail and should bring machetes, sun block, hats, water and bug repellent and wear long pants.
 
Contact Chevala Burke at (345) 244-4420 or Chevala.Burke@gov.ky  for more details.
 
 
World environment day is marked to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and to encourage political attention and local action by giving a human face to environment issues. The ultimate aim is to enable people to realize not only their responsibility but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development. As 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, this year’s World Environment Day’s focuses on preserving global biodiversity reflected by the theme Many Species, One Planet, One Future.
 
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Comments (7)

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  1. Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

    Thank you Gina and team.  This is proactive and healthy.

  2. AJ says:

    What an excellent idea!  I also like the idea of planting native fruit trees where everyone will have access to enjoy it’s bounty. 

    Does anyone know how one could get their hands on information about which herbs are used for what? 

    • Anonymous says:

      My suggestion would be to visit the National Trust and speak to Denise Bodden.  

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a great initiative, I will be supporting this project and encourage everyone to do so as well.

  4. Mat says:

    wow… we can also plant mango and fruit trees alongside the road and open areas, because it doesn’t make sense to buy them in the stores or have to ask someone who has trees in their yard for a mango. I for one am hardly seeing certain of our local fruit trees in the wild. I can’t tell the last time I saw a star apple or a june plum tree in the wild, and I recall when I was younger seeing many breadfruit trees in town. It is just amazing how we are developing so fast that we are forgetting the basic foods of life that kept our old people alive and well. Also these old folk use to rely alot on herbs which had medicinal value and many herbs I know in the bush you don’t see anymore. I have not seen cow-itch for a long time. I guess developers cut and destroy these shrubs because they are taken as useless bush. Cow itch is good for the elimination of worms. There are so many things in the wild we take for granted. It must be that we are so dependant on our grocery stores and American way of life. What happens when the stores can’t feed us anymore? Our people of old were so much more active and cultured. The men use to go out at sea and the women were very cultured at home. To catch a fish for the family was of more value than we now banking monies. Remember during Ivan when we had to ration food for sometime; it didn’t matter how much money you had, no one could leave the store with more than 50 dollars worth of groceries. It was tough, but it shows us how we are so dependant when we should be cultured and independant.

  5. Anonymous says:

    May I suggest that the 6 Government workers on expensive "Gardening Leave" sign up for this project and any other volunteer activity proposed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is great news andhopefully businesses will help support this green project. Cayman has lost so much of our native trees due to hurricanes and over development. Maybe families could plant a tree in their yards such as birch, avocado, mango and breadfruit. Now lets get the National Conservation Bill passed.