Shade Brigade appeals for tree conservation

A voluntary organisation trying to re-establish healthy and native trees around the island since Hurricane Ivan is appealing to the public to conserve trees.

Set up by Eliza Strachan following the storm, The Shade Brigade endeavours to replace lost trees in order to provide much needed shade in various parts of the island.

The group now consists of roughly 50 people who each grow native trees from seedlings and after six months they sell them to the public very cheaply in order to allow people to re-populate their gardens.

The last sale was held in October when trees were sold for between $2 and $5 each.

The group made $2,000 from the sale, which now goes towards re-populating the island’s trees further. It is hoped that another sale will be held in October, a good time for planting.

Recently the group was disappointed when a mature Mahogany tree slated for George Town Primary School kindergarten playground (which has no shade) was inadvertently dug up and damaged when it was to have been saved.

‘Please conserve trees while we can,’ member Candy Whicker appealed.

George Town Primary is just one of a list of public areas that lost trees and now has no shady areas.

If anyone is cutting down healthy trees such as Neem, Broadleaf, Mango, Breadfruit, Tamarind, Barringtonia or palms please contact the Shade Brigade, which can fund costs involved in moving trees through their sales. They also have access to a specialist tree mover who will not damage the tree in the process

Principal at George Town Primary School Marie Martin had been very hopeful and supportive of the group’s efforts to transport the mahogany tree to her school, said Ms Whicker, so if anyone can donate a tree to this school the Shade Brigade would gladly organise this.

Of course, the importance of re-planting trees is important not only for shade but for other reasons such as keeping the island cooler, as a habitat for wildlife and for general attractiveness.

If any schools need trees or anyone wants to help The Shade Brigade in any way contact Candy Whicker or Deputy Leader, Judy Bullmore at 925-7085 and 916-2373 respectively.

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