Earth Today | LASCO REAP promotes tree planting
THE LASCO Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP) continues to advance its mandate to revitalise Jamaica's tree planting culture through youth engagement.
It recently affirmed its commitment to this mandate, with the announcement of over 27,000 trees planted to date, made at its annual awards ceremony held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
The first five years of the competition saw over 15,000 trees planted by participating schools. This year alone they planted more than 11,000 trees.
Meanwhile, Fort George Primary School was, once again, the winner of the JMMB Joan Duncan Most Trees Planted Award. In the previous year, the school planted 1,795 trees to cop the award; this year they almost doubled that number by planting 3,000 trees.
Leading the charge was principal Dwight Minto, who went beyond the call of duty and engaged strategic members of the Fort George community in the quest to plant as many trees as possible.
"I engaged the farmers and private planters in the community. Students also went and planted trees on the property of our Deputy Board chair. I am really overjoyed at the results of our hard work and the contribution we made to the community and our environment," explained Minto.
Appreciation for trees
He added that the school and local community planted trees for lumber and fruits, such as red apples and June plums. The tree-planting project taken on by Fort George Primary and the community members is said to have had a great impact on the students, especially the young men, in regards to nurturing the environment and its resources.
"What I realised after we completed this project is that the students, especially the boys, have a new appreciation for not just planting trees but taking care of them. A competition such as this will benefit not just us but will better the environment for the generations of the future," noted Minto.
Stephen Newland, director of LASCO REAP, is thrilled with the growth the programme over six years.
"It is important for us to impress upon our children the importance of taking part in projects that benefit our environment. Projects such as REAP and NEPA's Trees for Life programme, that aims to plant a million trees, are crucial to sustaining Jamaica's environment and our livelihood as a people," Newland said.
"LASCO has, for six years, wholeheartedly supported REAP because it is a project that we believe has and will continue to effect positive change in Jamaica's attitude towards eco-friendly practices, " noted executive chairman and founder, Lascelles Chin.
Planting trees is important and necessary for improving the human condition, both during the tree's life and after its harvest.