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Earth Today | Independence City Primary excels in biodiversity awareness

Published:Thursday | July 4, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Saint Sanya Morrison, senior plants protection officer at Bodles Research Station in St Catherine, speaks with students about insects and agricultural plants during the recent biodiversity awareness expo in Clarendon.
Grade-four student Shereen Brooks of Moore’s Primary and Infant School in conversation with members of the judging panel (from left), Claudia Simms and Samantha Nelson, both of Highway 2000 East-West, and Tracey Commock of the Institute of Jamaica, at the recent biodiversity awareness expo in Clarendon.

Independence CITY Primary School emerged victors from the ‘Cleaner is greener: Making your garden work for you’ biodiversity competition held recently at Freetown Primary School in Clarendon.

Rosewell Primary, Freetown primary schools and Chandler’s Pen Primary and Junior High School, and Moores Infant and Primary, were the other schools that competed in the competition that saw the culmination of a biodiversity awareness programme implemented by the Natural History Museum of Jamaica and Highway 2000 East-West.

The competition was categorised by school garden sustainability, booths depicting health and awareness, and presentations on various features of biodiversity. Independent City Primary won the categories of school garden sustainability and the presentation on biodiversity, while Rosewell Primary won the booth category.

The Natural History Museum of Jamaica, in partnership with Highway 2000 East-West, has been working in the schools for the past eight years to establish gardens and educational programmes that teach students the value of taking care of their environment, while creating a stream of income that goes towards the advancement of the institutions.

Each year, the programme ends in a competition among the participating schools and an expo that showcases the fruits of their labour. Entities aligned to the preservation and advancement of the environment are also invited to take part in the expo to showcase and share their knowledge with the students and communities.

At this year’s staging, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries demonstrated how to do composting and how to maintain plant health. The Trees That Feed Foundation demonstrated grafting while the Water Resources Authority erected a model that showed how to harvest rainwater. Also present was the Rural Agricultural Development Authority.