The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands will honour several persons in the community for their efforts in tree distribution, planting, care-taking and trailblazing in the area of biodiversity conservation on Arbour Day, November 25.
Acting Director of the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands, Ms. Lynda Varlack said that the 2016 theme is “Sage Mountain: A Living Legacy” and highlights the relationship and importance of plants and people.
She said that the Trust will honour staff stalwarts, Mr. A.O. Shirley (MBE), who passed away earlier this year, as well as living members of the Trust staff, Mr. Denville Hodge and Mr. Ganshoun Harry. Several local businesses will also be recognised for their faithful support and patronage.
She noted that Sage Mountain is full of trees (of national significance);and many had been planted there on purpose over the years. As such,these trees actually mark the history of the Territory in many ways.
“Trees are a kind of legacy in and of themselves. They have become something [tangible]that we pass on to our children’s children. They provide all kinds of eco-services that benefit our daily lives. We experience, not just enjoyment from them, but food, nourishment, clean air, water and shelter. They are literally among, the living history of the Virgin Islands.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour,Dr. the Honourable KedrickD. Pickering said that the it was important to recognise important local environmental figures and that raising the profile of the all Virgin Islands ecosystems is imperative at every moment.
“I applaud the Trust for acknowledging persons who were involved in the development of Sage Mountain, which was the Territory’s first national park declared in 1964.Mr. A.O. Shirleywas involved in the creation of the trail networksat Sage Mountain. He was a Senior Warden and a former Director and he worked with other National Park staff to create many of the trails that are in use today. His contribution should not go unnoticed and I am pleased to see that we have taken the time to pay our respects to him and his family in this way.”
Arbour Day will be observed Friday, November 25. This year’s activitieswill feature:a vertical garden competition using recycled bottles, community tree plantings and free tree giveaways, a poetrycompetition for children and adults, a Radio Trivia Quiz series on ZBVI Radio,several tours of Sage Mountain (by request) and an annual Arbour Day ceremony also slated Friday, November 25, at the First Impressions School at 10:00 a.m.
The Radio Trivia Quiz will take place from November 7 through November 19 and the Poetry Competition deadline isNovember 14.
For more information or guidelines on the Poetry Competition, Vertical Garden Competition, or Free Tree Giveaway,persons may call the National Parks Trust at 494-4990.
The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands aims to preserve and manage designated natural and cultural areas in order to improve the quality of life in the Virgin Islands.
Arbour Day observations of 2014(Photo credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)