School Initiative: 670,000 plants
With approximately 35,000 primary and secondary school students in approximately 1200 classes in Barbados the idea is to create a 2020 National School tree growing competition, where every student in every class in Barbados will receive a 64-plant seedling tray. Students will be expected to take care of the seedlings for 6 weeks, carefully following instructions and helping them to mature. After which they will return tray with the hatch seedlings. Those students adjudged by the class teacher to have best propagated trays will win a tablet, smartphone or some other valuable prize. Schools with the most plants and best performing students will also be eligible to win major prizes, so stay tuned.
NCC and Soil Conservation Unit (SCU) initiative: 510, 000
These two organisations are looking to rapidly expand their production in order to meet the target with the NCC aiming to increase propagation capacity by 1000% and SCU by 600%. This will be done with the expansion of greenhouses and plant beds as well as a financial injection from their Ministry.
Think about it, to reach this 1 million trees target, we need to be planting about 3000 trees a day every day, for 365 days. And it can be done! Through mass planting on two large plots of Crown land identified two large lots of land (75,000 sq ft + 250,000 sq ft) on the properties belonging Darryl Jordan Secondary and Ignatius Byer primary. The preparation work has already started, and November 30th saw 15,000 trees planted. Other areas will include school grounds, the botanical gardens, the prison, old plantation estates, coastline, etc.
But why are we doing this? There are several (good) reasons and they all benefit the environment. For one, it looks good, provides food and reduces soil erosion and flooding.
So, Barbados, we are planting over 1 million trees (shrubs, food plants etc.) … are you ready?
Benefits of Planting Trees
SUSTAINABILITY & SECURITY
AESTHETIC AND RECREATIONAL
Bring back or proliferate indigenous trees, fruits and other commercial produce.
Promote (both tree and animal) Biodiversity and sustainable ecosystems.
Take carbon and nitrogen out of the atmosphere (Sequestration/Fixation)
Promote Apiculture (the increase of bees and hives)
Increase canopy cover in urban areas to reduce heat and exposure to direct sunlight.
Remove oil solvents and other pollutants in the soil by using trees (Phytoremediation)
Reduce soil erosion and degradation.
Reduce surface water runoff (flooding).
Increase ground/rain water retention.
Increase National Food Security – planting more produce trees
Create food nets/boundaries – for foraging wildlife.
Help Beautify Barbados: part and parcel with the National Beautification Campaign (spires, hedges, canopies, flowing plum-lines and rows).
The aesthetics of smell; mask odours and foul scents.
Devlop recreational access, eg. trails and attractive viewing areas.