The playground of George Town Primary School is shaping up with volunteers coming out in force the past two weekends to plant shrubs, trees and plants around the school.
The United World Colleges (Cayman Islands) National Foundation and other local companies, along with volunteers – many of whom are alumni of the school – spent the past two Saturdays planting greenery in the school’s new playground area and around the perimeter of the new school addition.
Since Hurricane Ivan destroyed the school’s playground in 2004, George Town Primary has not had the funds to build it back.
The United World Colleges (Cayman Islands) National Foundation originally approached the school intending to plant some shade trees in honour of its students who had started their education at George Town Primary. The idea grew from there and when the Dart nursery offered its assistance, George Town Primary’s wish for a beautified, usable outdoor play space was about to come true.
During the first planting day, on Saturday, 24 March, United World Colleges (Cayman Islands) National Foundation volunteers tackled the playground area and planted more than 100 shrubs, trees and plants donated by Dart.
The foundation’s chairperson, Tara Rivers, said: “CIUWC is happy to play a part in helping to create a place where our children can play and grow, in an environment which will hopefully foster a greater awareness and appreciation of our natural environment and a desire to promote sustainable development in our Islands.”
“Dart’s contribution to this day was more than we could ever have dreamed of,” said George Town Primary’s PTA Fundraising Coordinator Cheyenna Stewart. “Their donation of all plants for the area earmarked for the school playground, which included local trees and plants and enough Mahoe Shrub to border the entire perimeter of the playground area – 249 to be exact – and the new school addition was just shocking. Words cannot express how much we appreciate their donation of thousands of dollars of trees and plants.”
Merlin Seymour from S and S Bobcat Services and Duronnie Myles with Myles Equipment Services and his co-worker Junior Brown operated machinery to make the planting easier. Mr. Miles and Mr. Brown are both former George Town Primary School students.
The Caribbean Utilities Company, who has adopted George Town Primary as a community service project, also helped with the planting day.
Volunteers from Flower Power and Citi were also on hand to help with the planting.
CUC’s Corporate Communications Manager Pat Bynoe-Clarke said: “CUC is delighted to be a part of this tree planting project. We have adopted George Town Primary School and our employees are always willing to assist in any way they can at this school. We look forward to seeing the project completed and hope the children will enjoy it.”
When topsoil provided by Dale Morris, a George Town Primary School alumnus, ran out, Bodden’s Heavy Equipment and Derm’s Equipment came to the rescue, with another load of top soil for the remaining shrubs still needing to be planted.
Tommy Ebanks, ministry site manager for the new school addition, assisted in reading the landscaping drawings and marking out the areas for the plants and trees.
“Today was a very proud moment for all those involved as people from companies and organisations all over the island came together to assist in giving our children a great place to learn and play,” said George Town Primary’s principal Marie Martin.