Biodiversity Awareness Project -Vegetable Gardens in Schools, Clarendon and St. Catherine

Our Biodiversity Awareness project, a partnership with the Natural History Museum of Jamaica (NHMJ) and the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), continues to fulfil its mandate effectively. The Biodiversity Centre at Chandler’s Pen Primary and Junior High School remains the focal point for any biodiversity and general environmental -related activities undertaken by the programme. However, we have extended to four additional schools via the implementation of vegetable gardens. The installation of the Vegetable Garden in school, element of our Biodiversity programme, started in 2017 with Chandler’s Pen Primary, Freetown and Independence City Primary.

All three schools have since been successful in achieving their specific objective and we will continue to strive in improving their emphasis as follows:

  •  Chandler’s Pen Primary and Junior High- Ornamental Gardening, an aesthetic expression of beauty through art and nature, (reduce, reuse and recycle).
  •  Free Town Primary – Backyard Gardening and waste management (composting etc.)

NHMJ in partnership with Highway 2000 East-West handed over two vegetable gardens to Rosewell Primary and Moore’s Primary and Infant Schools in Clarendon, located within the Highway 2000 East-West vicinity on Wednesday, April 25,2018. In attendance, we had the Principals of both schools, Ms. Paulette Douglas and Mrs. Wendy McKoy from Rosewell and Moore’s Primary respectively.

We had greetings from the Executive Director of IOJ, Mr. Vivian Crawford and his contingency from the NHMJ, Managing Director, Mr Guillaume Allain and his team from Highway 2000 East-West, Mrs. Jeneive Williams, Education Officer, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and Mrs. Carlene Benjamin Councillor, Palmer’s Cross Division, South Eastern Clarendon. The consensus was great appreciation for the new partnerships with the schools, IOJ, and Highway 2000 East-West and commitments to work closely to ensure sustainability of this vegetable garden project. The schools in Rosewell and Moore’s were also gifted with tools such as machetes, wheel barrows, and shovels by Highway 2000 East-West along with a vegetable garden workbook published by NHMJ.

The objectives of the project are for the students to become more aware of nature and the role humans play in its conservation and to develop an appreciation of farming. In relation to the two-new schools, emphasis will be placed as follows:

  •  Rosewell Primary -the emphasis is placed on organic gardening, matching vegetables that will be able to survive the condition of the stone soil.
  •  Moore’s Primary - the emphasis of our program will be on rain water harvesting and planting crops that may require minimal water dependency.

The project is sponsored by Trans Jamaican Highway and administered by JIO, and we appreciate the partnership with the Natural History Museum of Jamaica (NHMJ) and the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ). It has enabled us to participate in many of their associate activities and help us to forge relationships with the communities in which we operate.