Total support for Tree Planting Day
CHILDREN from Mar-Jam Preparatory School in Ocho Rios, St Ann got their hands dirty on Friday, October 6 and there was nothing their teachers could say about it, certainly not on National Tree-Planting Day.
Anxious to show off their garden to their 'aunts' and 'uncles' from Total Jamaica, what started as Mar-Jam Prep's Environmental Club's National Tree-Planting Day project soon involved other students of the school located on Main Street in the tourist town.
Total Jamaica Limited celebrated National Tree-Planting Day 2017 with the help of the Forestry Department, providing plants to schools which participate in the Schools' Environment Programme, an initiative sponsored by Total, in partnership with the Jamaica Environment Trust.
Total undertook projects at three schools - Mar-Jam Preparatory, Sanguinetti Primary in Clarendon, and Meadowbrook Preparatory, St Andrew - as Jamaica observed National Tree-Planting Day under the theme, Today's trees, tomorrow's future.
"Whenever the Environmental Club has a project, the whole school gets involved," teacher Karla Campbell told The Gleaner as Mar-Jam's eager children scampered to plant trees alongside Total Jamaica's team, led by Network Development manager Kamala Johnson.
Giving a pleasing endorsement to his staff's involvement with schools and young children for National Tree-Planting Day, Total Jamaica's managing director, David Ducognon, reiterated the company's steadfast support.
"We want to help secure a healthy and environmentally friendly future through the promotion of environmental stewardship, especially among children, as they can be the engines of positive change," said Ducognon.
Among the many fruit trees and plants in Mar-Jam's garden is a Pride of Barbados, which happens to be the national flower of the eastern Caribbean country, and was planted by Total Jamaica two years ago on National Tree-Planting Day. It is now the pride of Mar-Jam and the school's association with Total.
Principal Belinda Lue noted that Mar-Jam Prep has been partnering with sponsor Total Jamaica since 2011 when the school won the Trees for the Future category of the newly launched Jamaica Environment Trust's Environmental Challenge awards.
"All our fruit trees are flourishing. We have about 12 different fruit trees - cherry, naseberry, guava, breadfruit, ackee, banana - you name it, trees from which we reap fruits of our labour. The kids know how to take care of them. They will warn others not to destroy them if they see anything wrong being done," Lue pointed out.