Children plant trees at Palmiste Park for World Environment Day

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Anna-Maria Henry, ten, and Ada-Marie, eight, of San Fernando Girls’ Government Primary School, help beautify Palmiste Park on World Environmental Day which is celebrated on June 5 of every year. – Photo by Venessa Mohammed

IN a few years, motorists and pedestrians will be able to enjoy radiant yellow poui blooms along Palmiste Boulevard in San Fernando.

The road, that borders Palmiste Park, was beautified all thanks to some 70 primary school students from ten South schools who planted the seedlings on June 5 to commemorate World Environment Day.

Celebrated annually on June 5, this year’s theme is land restoration, desertification and drought resilience and was held under the slogan “Our land, Our future, We are #GenerationRestoration.”

The students were hosted in a project spearheaded by the Palmiste Historical Society and the 4-H Club of Trinidad and Tobago.

Palmiste Historical Society founder and president Terrence Honoré said the organisation is working to improve the park’s arboriculture and the global celebration was a perfect opportunity to get the younger generation interested in planting and the environment.

Kaylee Edwards, five, of Dyanand Memorial Vedic School helps plant her future as she and other student representatives of ten primary schools plant Poui trees and various fruit trees at Palmiste Park on June 5. – Photo by Venessa Mohammed

“It’s essential for us for continuity. Some of us, we’re a bit over the hill and we’re encouraging the kids to get involved and to plant the trees. We also want to create a sense of pride so the kids would identify with the trees that they planted, take a sense of ownership and then continue with that even as they share it with their children. We want to inculcate that kind of thinking and mindset because it’s lacking in our society and we want to encourage among the kids,” he said.

“If we could get five kids to be passionate about this, then we would have done well.”Some of the children planted yellow poui trees along Palmiste Boulevard while others planted fruit trees inside the park.

“What we are focusing on is on the ornamental trees to give that beauty along the boulevard and the fruit trees to encourage the birds.”

Also designed as an educational event, Honoré said they gave the children an opportunity to plant trees they may not be familiar with such as rambutan, fat-pork and cocorite.

Sherwin Francis waters an almond tree planted by students at Palmiste Park on World Environment Day. – Photo by Venessa Mohammed

Before the planting began, the students were part of a brief session where they were taught the importance of looking after the environment.

Among the speakers was Natasha Lee, chairman of the 4-H Club TT.

“We can all make a positive impact by embracing sustainable practices in our daily lives; conserving resources and advocating for eco-friendly solutions. Remember, even small steps like planting a tree, reducing waste or supporting renewable energy contribute to a significant change,” she said.

The students planted the trees in a recently cleared part of the park which Honoré said will be developed and expanded. He said the grounds crew and volunteers will tend to the trees and monitor their growth.