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 900 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 Caribbeancommunities with the tools and natural resources to meet their nutritional needs.”
In Antigua, a number of fruit trees were planted at schools in the communities of Bolans Village, All Saints Road, Saint John’s, and Cedar Grove Village, bolstering the twin island’s foundation to strengthen food security for its citizens.
Sandals Pastry Chef Anthony Linor who was part of the volunteer team on the road said, “The experience was very enjoyable and rewarding to all of the volunteers and students involved. Seeing the students motivated to be a part of the seedlings transfer process was very heart-warming and Ilook forward to the follow-ups when we visit the schools to make sure the seedlings are growing and are being cared for by the students. It was my first time being a part of the experience and it definitely won’t be the last.”
Now, with more than 900 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 Leon Norville Public Relations Manager at Sandals Grande Antigua 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.