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The Forestry Department today launched its latest promotion in support of the National Tree Planting Initiative, Three Million Trees in Three Years, dubbed, “#MyTreeLegacy”.

In recognition of the strong and vibrant school spirit that is embedded in the Jamaican culture, the Agency is offering past students an opportunity to engage with their alma maters in a way that provides tangible and lasting benefits not only for current students but for future generations.

The first planting activity under this new thrust took place at the St. Jago High School in St. Catherine on Thursday where a mixture of 22 seedlings to include Yellow Poui, Pride of Barbados and our national tree Blue Mahoe were planted.

 CEO & Conservator of Forests, Mr. Ainsley A. Henry, who is a past student of St. Jago High says the Agency has been engaging schools in tree planting activities for decades but since 2020, these tree planting efforts have been curtailed due to the closure of many schools in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “Despite the pandemic, tree planting is an activity that can be done while maintaining physical distance and requires minimal interaction so we are calling on past students to reengage with their alma maters, from the early childhood level through to the tertiary level. I am happy to be back at my alma mater to leave my tree legacy for the generations that will pass through these hallowed walls. This activity is just the beginning as the Forestry Department will be organizing other planting activities at the alma maters of our team members and I challenge every Jamaican, every business and public sector entity to do the same,” He said.

 Mr. Henry says past students should reach out to their alma maters and in discussion with the schools identify spaces that they wish to plant trees. 

 “Once the decision has been made, the schools or past students may contact the Forestry Department to access technical advice and tree seedlings for executing the activity. When seedlings are collected, they should be planted within two to three days and we will require a clear plan to ensure that the trees are maintained. After all, we are in the business of growing trees and not simply planting seedlings,” Mr. Henry said.

We encourage teams to take photographs of their tree planting and maintenance efforts and share them on social media and tag the Forestry Department, which will repost the pics and note the effort towards the 3 million trees programme.

 The National Tree Planting Initiative to plant three million trees in three years was launched by the Most Honourable Prime Minister Andrew Holness on October 4, 2019. The objective of the Initiative is to support national development in the area of climate change adaptation, national reforestation efforts to increase forest cover and to establish high value urban green spaces for the benefit of all Jamaicans.

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