BNT Celebrates Earth Day with Tree Planting Initiatives

Partners with Solomon’s, Bahamas First, Rotary and Terrain Landscape Architects

EARTH Day 2021 prompted the planting of dozens of trees in New Providence and Grand Bahama as part of a larger global initiative to “Restore the Earth,” this year’s theme.

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) partnered with Solomon’s, Bahamas First, the Rotary Club of East Nassau, the Rotary Club of Freeport, and Terrain Landscape Architects for the tree planting activities which took place at Fox Hill in New Providence and at the Lucayan National Park and Rand Nature Centre in Grand Bahama. Teams from BNT, Solomon’s and Rotary helped to clean and prepare the sites in advance of the Earth Day celebration.

Members of BNT, the Rotary Club of East Nassau, AML Foods, and the Fox Hill community participate in planting the first tree of the Fox Hill Fruit Forest.

A tree planting ceremony was held at the Fox Hill property located on Bernard Road, to mark the beginning of a long-term partnership with the Fox Hill community for the development of an “Urban Fruit Forest.” The Mactaggart family donated the property to the BNT to help preserve the large silk cotton tree that dominates the front of the property and may be one of the oldest on the island.

The planting of native fruit trees such as soursop, avocado, mango, and guava is the first stage in the development of the “Urban Fruit Forest.” Additional fruit trees, shrubs, and benches will be added in phases to transform the property into a green space for people and wildlife. Volunteers from Solomon’s, the Rotary Club of East Nassau, and Bahamas First are already planning work days on World Biodiversity Day (May 22) and World Environment Day (June 5). 

The large silk cotton tree situated front and center on the site of the Fox Hill Fruit Forest. The property was donated to the BNT by the MacTaggart Family, who wished for the preservation of this tree

In Grand Bahama, coco plum and seagrape trees were planted as part of ongoing restoration work taking place in the national parks, which were impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

As The Bahamas’ national park manager, one of the BNT’s major goals is to protect ecologically and culturally significant spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife. The “Urban Fruit Forest” project is exciting for the organization as it brings together corporate partners, service organizations, and the local community in creating a space that can inspire others to implement similar landscaping in neighborhood parks.

Plans for the Fox Hill Fruit Forest displayed

“This is only the beginning,” stated BNT President Geoff Andrews. “This is a long-term project and we’re going to keep going. We just hope the Fox Hill community will continue to work with the BNT and our great supporters to develop a great green space; and that we can replicate this concept in other communities here in New Providence and other islands throughout The Bahamas.”

Solomon’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Renea Bastian, shared that “at Solomon’s, we work tirelessly to positively impact our customers, their communities, and the spaces they call home.  The trees being planted this week will do just that by establishing comfortable and inviting spaces for people in the Nassau and Freeport communities to experience.”

The property for the Fox Hill Fruit Forest is located directly across the road from the Fox Hill Public Library and Sandilands Primary School. One of the purposes of the forest is to provide a friendly green space for people of the Fox Hill community and students of this school

For the past five years, Solomon’s has banned the use of plastic bags in their grocery stores and distributed free reuseable bags to customers on Earth Day. This year, they wanted to celebrate earth day by planting trees.

BNT team member Jason finishes planting a mango tree for the Fox Hill Fruit Forest

BNT’s Executive Director Eric Carey in his closing comments reminded us, “Experts tell us one of the best ways to help restore the planet is to plant trees. Trees are the lungs of the earth. So what we’re doing here today is a small little part of the planet, but once you add up millions of these efforts, then you have the cumulative effect of restoration. So we’re glad our partners are here with us today to help us do our small part as we focus on restoring our planet.”

Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 more than 1 billion individuals have mobilized for action on this day (source: earthday.org).

To learn more about the role the BNT plays to manage terrestrial and marine national parks, protect species that inhabit them, and inform environmental policy, please visit our website: www.bnt.bs, and follow/subscribe to our various social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Media Contact: Elijah Sands | esands@bnt.bs | (242) 431 – 6797

About the BNT:

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of The Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility, the BNT works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas through stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 32 National Parks managed by the BNT with more than 2 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.

Share this article

Leave a comment