With an increased need for investment to strengthen the Caribbean’s food security, the Sandals Foundation galvanized the support of hundreds of its ambassadors and Sandals and Beaches Resorts guests across eight islands to celebrate Earth Day by planting over 1000 food-bearing trees in a single day.
The large-scale tree planting event formed part of the organisation’s ‘Trees for Life” campaign and contributed to the charitable arm’s year-long mission of regional food security, which aims to keep local produce in schools and communities.
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, weighed in on the importance of the Earth Day campaign.
“Sustainably increasing food and agricultural production is critical to ensuring the presence of fresh local foods for our Caribbean families for years to come. The “Trees for Life” campaign represents our continued pledge to environmental protection as a company, while empowering Caribbean communities with the tools and natural resources to meet their nutritional needs.”
In Saint Lucia, 210 citrus and mango trees and flowering plants were planted in the Dennery (Errand River) community.
Victroy Arthur, a cook from Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa & Beach Resort was quite keen on participating in the “Trees for life” campaign. “I am planting several trees, not just for myself and to represent members of my family, but because I understand the value of trees for our livelihoods. Without trees, we have no food.”
Meanwhile the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Manager from Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort Sheniel Julien said, “the minute I heard that we were going to support nature by planting trees, I was very excited. I am a nature child and I will do everything in my power to help nature maintain her health so she in turn can support us”.
Aurea Daniel, Operations Manager at Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa said she was truly humbled to be part of the regional effort to save mother earth. “I saw this as my duty, to show up and be counted. I could have taken the day off, but I thought it would have been far more productive to come out and support what the team was doing. And it was so worth it.”
Now, with more than 1000 steps forward across Jamaica, Antigua, Curacao, Barbados, Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas, Saint Lucia and Grenada, the ‘Trees for Life” campaign builds on the tree planting milestones of years past.
In 2021, the Sandals Foundation ambitiously pledged to plant 10,000 trees throughout the Caribbean, not only quickly achieving that goal, but expanding on it by an additional 10,000 trees in 2022.
With this incredible start to the year through the Earth Day ‘Trees for Life” campaign, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International is solidifying its mandate in strengthening food security in the region.
With a mixture of fruit, forest, and ornamental seedlings purchased from local forestry departments and nurseries, the planted seedlings are expected to blossom in a span of two years, providing food resources for surrounding students and families.
“Sandals Foundation and our parent company, Sandals Resorts International, are using the power of tourism to plan for a secure future and we are committed to providing the skills and tools needed to create resilient food supply systems and food forests in local schools and communities to ensure access to sustainable and nutritious meals,” said Janelle Norville, Public Relations Manager at Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa and Sandals Foundation ambassador.
Persons wishing to support the tree planting efforts can visit the Sandals Foundation website at www.sandalsfoundation.org and donate to the ‘Trees for Life’. One hundred percent of all funds donated will be directed towards purchasing seedlings and maintaining the plant sites to ensure tree survival.
SOURCE: Sandals Foundation