The Botanical Gardens proved the perfect space for students and their teachers to celebrate the recent International Earth Day. Students from Eva Hilton Primary, Yellow Elder Primary, H.O. Nash Junior High, and T.A. Thompson Junior High enjoyed the organized student fun day, where they learned the importance of their role in the care and protection of the environment.
Students experienced an interactive lesson spearheaded by Danielle Hanek, Forestry Unit representative, and David Cates, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources permanent secretary, on environmental concerns such as pollution and endemic plants. Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources Vaughn Miller also assisted in planting a tree in commemoration of the event.
Serena Williams, principal in Serena Williams Media & Public Relations, donated funds toward treat bags for the children and teachers present.
“Hopefully, the more students learn of their connection to their environment, they will become more aware of what’s needed from all of us in our fight against worrying climate change conditions,” said Williams, who also noted the longevity of the gardens.
The children learned that 90 species of palm trees, native and exotic flowers, streams, mirror-like ponds, and birds can be found at the Botanical Gardens.
“The Botanical Gardens was well ahead of its time in the fight against climate change conditions. Since their opening in 1973, its 18 acres of flora and fauna daily help reduce the country’s carbon emissions,” said Williams.
Opened at the time of The Bahamas’ independence on July 10, 1973, the Nassau Botanical Gardens provide a tranquil retreat for nature-loving residents and visitors. It features 18 acres of tropical flora covering over 600 species, including The Bahamas’ national flower, the Yellow Elder. Once known as the pit, the gardens were an old rock quarry supplying stones for roadways and the building of Fort Charlotte. The idea for the gardens was conceived in 1951 by Oris Russell of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Karen Kikivarakis-Ferguson, Botanical Gardens’ manager, thanked Williams for personifying this year’s Earth Day theme, “Invest In Our Planet”.
Each year, on April 22, people celebrate Earth Day to protect the planet from things like pollution and deforestation. By taking part in activities like picking up litter and planting trees, officials say people will help make the world a happier, healthier place to live.