In keeping with the Ministry of Environment’s Plant a Million Tree Campaign, Minister of the Environment the Hon. Earl Deveaux planted coconut trees on land cleared for a community park in the R. E. Cooper/Florence Gardens subdivision.

Minister Deveaux met with the residents of the community and they discussed plans for the proposed park. He said, “We are going to assist them with all the trees that they would like. In terms of technical advice the Botanic Gardens and the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) have a number of trees in stock. We’re a part of the million tree programme for the whole Bahamas so this would assist us in facilitating that broad objective.”

BNT applauds the initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that encourages businesses, communities, organizations and governments to enter tree planting pledges online with the objective of planting at least one billion trees worldwide each year. UNEP plans to plant seven billion trees throughout the world.

BNT, through its Plant for the Planet programme for The Bahamas, is encouraging Bahamians to combat climate change and help to plant a million trees by December 31, 2009.

According to Sean Adderley, president of the Homeowners Association, the residents wish to have the park developed and they organized a plan to be implemented. The plan includes planting of various native trees, a walking path, a community centre/club house and playground equipment.

Minister Deveaux said, “Once it becomes a public park then the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture can assist us with getting some equipment here for the children for example, a sand box and a jungle gym set. So there will be a park that people can use for recreation for adults and children.”

He added, “This is vital to them. When they have this park in here the whole community can get together and meet readily. Beyond politics this is a community that is functioning the way we would like our other communities to function. For me it’s a neat fit where you can assist people in doing what they want to do.”

Mr. Adderey said residents of the community are trying to assist themselves by developing the land provided for them by Arawak Homes. He said, “We know these are tough economic times now so we are trying to assist ourselves. We have come up with a plan where we can work as a community with the government.

“We are trying to develop a park where we can have a safe, clean environment with lots of trees for our children to grow in. Hopefully, we can become a model park for the rest of The Bahamas to see there is still a group of people who can work together successfully.”