The planting project was headed by the Environment on Line (ENO) and took place under the theme “Peace in Green.” Mrs. Jacqueline Christopher, focal point of the UNESCO initiative and Community Development Officer in the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Community Development, labeled the activity as “magnificent.”
The ENO coordinator outlined that the roadside phase of the planting included 10 students of the Saddlers Primary accompanied by a teacher and 20 students from the Edgar T. Morris Primary School along with a teacher and a traffic warden. She said that each student had the opportunity to plant at least one sapling.
Mrs. Christopher also took the opportunity to thank Director of Environment Mr. Randolph Edmeade, and specifically, the members of Parks and Beaches Unit who transported the plants. She explained that the Unit pre-dug the holes so that the young plants could be steadily placed in the ground with no delay.
A contribution of a total 194 saplings and the supervision of the planting was done by the Department of Agriculture.
Supervisor of Propagation in the Department, Lionel Stevens, noted “From the looks of it many of the children were excited, they promised to take care of the tree that they planted, considering that in the future it would have fruits, fresh and free of cost. Since the trees are along the roadside, the fruits can be collected when jogging or walking, so you can always have access to fruits once they are in season. We are doing this for the children, because they are the future and in a matter of a few years, there will be fruits for everybody, including tourists.”
Fruit trees were not the solitary planting option; the Tucker-Clarke Primary School chose ornamental saplings for their project.
Mr. Stevens explained, “Ornamental plants are described, or known, as flowering plants and are used more for beautification. Tucker-Clarke wanted to enhance the look of their overall environment, so they opted to plant some minor ornamentals for decoration.”
“This is an initiative where, internationally, they want to plant 100 million trees by 2017, and here in St. Kitts we did our part by planting trees from Tabernacle to Belle Vue along the island main road, we planted chiefly fruit trees, which will contribute to our food security objectives while making fresh fruit more available to locals,” the Supervisor of Propagation outlined.
Fruit trees planted from Tabernacle to the outskirts of Harris’ included soursop, local cherry, guava, morocco, almond and local blackberry. Twenty Cedar Trees were planted in the Belle Vue area as well.
“More fruits, more food, less hunger,” Mrs. Christopher emphasized. “We can survive on fruits because that is what our forefathers did in days gone by. This is in line with the Millennium Development Goals in terms of reducing poverty and hunger as well as our local efforts of achieving a fit and healthy nation. If we each plant just one tree and look after it, we will be making a personal contribution towards helping our environment, our society and ourselves specifically.”
Persons wishing to volunteer their time during next year’s ENO planting in May can contact Mrs. Christopher at the Department of Community Development at 467-1137. Donations of young plants and protective casing such as chicken wire, mesh and wooden pallets will be also be graciously accepted.