NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (January 31, 2020) — Mrs. Avril Elliott, Education Officer in the Department of Education, is expressing hope that schools on Nevis would realise the benefits that the Department of Agriculture’s islandwide environmentally friendly initiative to plant 10,000 trees would bring.
The Education official made the comment on January 29, 2020, during the ceremony at the St. Thomas’ Primary School grounds to launch the project. Sixteen fruit bearing trees were planted there to start the initiative. Under the project fruit trees and ornamentals will be planted in schools, public areas and homes across the island in 2020.
“My hope is that the schools would see this as a partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and don’t see it as a Ministry of Agriculture initiative in the sense that they will take ownership, and feel a sense of ownership, and look at the benefits that can accrue to the schools.
“We look at the link, the curriculum, we can see teachers somewhat linking ecosystems, reforestation, soil erosion, life cycle of insects and so many other things, and also we are hoping the produce can be used to offset the cost of operating the cafeteria,” she said.
While thanking the stakeholders involved in the initiative, Mrs. Elliott used the opportunity to urge the schools to care and maintain the trees once they are planted.
“I admonish the St. Thomas’ Primary School and all schools in general to take it as their own, feel a sense of ownership, and also encourage the children to care and maintain this initiative because eventually it is ours and it is our Nevis.
“This initiative will no doubt bring some aesthetics to the environment, and not to mention all the environmental benefits of such an initiative. So again, I would like to applaud the stakeholders, mainly in the Ministry of Education and the Nevis Island Administration, for this initiative and I wish you well,” she said.