Saving the trees

The Shade Brigade has come up with a simple scheme to help prevent the destruction of mature trees by finding them new homes.

To make it work, the Shade Brigade needs a little help from the public.

Shade Brigade members are inviting anyone with unwanted mature trees to email the voluntary group with a description of the tree or trees, plus their contact details.

‘We will then forward that information, via email, to architects, builders, developers and landscapers who might have a use, or know of someone who might have a use, for the trees,’ Shade Brigade Eliza Harford explained in a press release.

Details of unwanted trees can be emailed to [email protected].

Mrs. Harford said she had already contacted about 40 individuals and businesses as potential recipients of the ‘free tree’ information, and explained to them how the scheme would work. So far, the response has been positive, she noted.

The Shade Brigade has been advised that most big trees can be moved, and that the expertise to do this is on-island, said Mrs. Harford. ‘We have the names and numbers of several companies which have been recommended to us as being good tree movers.’

‘Sadly,’ she added, ‘for one reason or another, many beautiful mature trees are chopped down every year in Cayman. We’ve set up this new information exchange about unwanted trees in the hope of reducing that number. Even if we end up saving just a handful of trees, it will be worth it. And in the meantime, the very existence of the tree information exchange will, we hope, raise people’s consciousness about the value of trees and their overwhelming importance to our built environment and quality of life.’

WHO THEY ARE

The Shade Brigade was set up in June 2005. Its aim is to get as many trees as possible planted to replace all those lost to Hurricane Ivan. Last year, the Shade Brigade and their many supporters grew close to 1,000 saplings (mostly native to Cayman) which went for a token dollar or two at a sale in October.

The Shade Brigade continues to lend support with tree-growing projects to the CI Department of Environment, the National Trust, the Botanic Park and the National Beautification Committee, among others. It has donated trees for replanting by the Kiwanis at Spotts beach, and has done some planting at George Town and Bodden Town primary schools.

Members are working on another sapling sale for this October, with an emphasis on native trees. Other projects are also in the pipeline.

Shade Brigade members are: Judy Bullmore, Maria Butler, Sandra Dailey, Geraldine Duckworth, Eliza Harford, Jane Moon, Candy Whicker. Ms Harford is running the free tree info exchange project. She can be reached on 917-0421 after 29 June.

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