In this article [part of the Cleaning Up the Mess environmental series], Marlon Grant, team leader of sustainability at Atlantic (a company that produces liquefied natural gas), speaks about the company’s Atlantic Seeds of Hope Award’s programs for school children. He explains that the programs help children learn, not just about agricultural and environmental practices, but also important lessons in leadership.
The current aim of Seeds of Hope is to create awareness among young people of their link with the environment, so that they have an understanding of the opportunities for growth through agriculture. Every year, 4H clubs in schools in St Patrick West, Victoria and Tobago take part in activities targeting the following: the development of skills in plant propagation; increase in knowledge of agriculture through planting; the protection and enhancement of the environment through the planting and production of trees and fruit trees; increase in knowledge of grafting trees; and the increase in availability and knowledge of rare plants.
The dual focus on the environment and opportunities in agriculture is directly related to the involvement of the 4H and the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs, and helps to increase the program’s potential impact for future generations.
At the awards ceremony, Monica Lessey, coordinator of the Seeds of Hope Program reported on the children’s accomplishments in the program for 2011. We were not surprised that the children surpassed all their targets. “In plant propagation, the target was 26,100 plants and the students’ total propagation was 43,870 plants,” Lessey said. “We set a target of 2,000 club gardens and 10,000 home gardens, and the students planted 8,342 club gardens and 12,769 home gardens. In the area of tree production, the children were able to grow 7,969 trees. This was way and above the 5,000 target for trees set by the Program.”
It was also reported that for 2011, thirty school clubs were able to earn income by selling plants to the Seeds of Hope Plant nursery in Point Fortin. These funds will help the clubs buy equipment and also establish other projects. It is amazing to me that every year the children in the program produce some 25,000 plants. It has become viable for the participating clubs and has helped to create a ready source for plants, trees, fruit trees and seedlings for Point Fortin and environs.
See photo (and more information) at http://www.atlanticlng.com/