NCC Senior Technical Officer, Nigel Jones (left) looks on proudly as Minister of Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe shakes the hand of Rotary President, Brenda Pope as Past President and project co-ordinator, John Cabral, looks on. ??(C. Pitt/BGIS)

Trees are important!

Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, stressed this point during the unveiling of the Rotary Club of Barbados’ Arboretum at the National Botanical Gardens at Waterford, St. Michael, last Friday.

"There seems to be a fixation in Barbados with cutting down bush. Everybody wants their bush removed and a clean well-manicured, lawn-like environment, but trees are important," Dr. Lowe emphasised.

In that vein, the Minister said the Arboretum by the Rotary Club of Barbados "fitted right into the corridors of government’s policy to preserve endangered trees, and a culture of tree planting, tree cultivation and tree care".

He stressed that tree planting was not an idle activity of government, but a significant part of what the country stood for, and the legacy it wanted to leave for other generations to enjoy.

"We cannot continue to doubt the importance of trees especially as it relates to matters like climate change. Trees provide land cover that helps to preserve the ozone, and protect the atmosphere from the rise of greenhouse gas emissions," Dr. Lowe said.

The Minister of Environment and Drainage added that the start of the Arboretum at the National Botanical Gardens was a clear example of government’s commitment to its greening policy.

"It is my dream that this space here becomes Barbados’ Central Park," he said. Dr. Lowe added that he was "extremely happy" to have the Rotary Club of Barbados as the first partner to come forward to assist government with the development of the site.

"I should also like to congratulate the Rotary Club of Barbados for its 50 years of stellar contribution to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of Barbados," he remarked.

Rotary Past President, and project coordinator, John Cabral, said the project was in the making for some time. He explained that the idea to develop the area and house a variety of trees in one location had a number of benefits.

Those benefits, he said, included the National Botanical Gardens being seen as a place of national interest; an educational and recreational area for school trips; and for children to learn about the different variety of trees, and as a place of interest for visitors.

He added that there was a vision to also erect benches in the gardens over time to give those who visit a place to sit and relax.


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