The Arima Borough Corporation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, launched its 1,000 Trees initiative on Tuesday.
At the launch, held on the Lennox Yearwood Expressway, Malabar, 20 trees were planted along the carriageway, with plans to continue planting throughout the borough.
Mayor of Arima Cagney Casimire said the project was the brainchild of former mayor and current MP for D’Abadie/O’Meara Lisa Morris-Julian.
“This project is one that is so important to us, in that it is one of the first we have put out to mitigate our carbon footprint,” he said, adding the project is a part of the borough’s long-term climate-change initiatives.
“We have seven electoral districts, and we are starting with Malabar…We aim to plant 1,000 trees, and to do that we need to have partners in each electoral district.”
He said two of the borough’s main partners are the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) and the National Reforestation and Watershed Programme.
“We are going to introduce species that will no doubt be new to our younger population. When we plant them, we will identify them by their local and botanical name for public education.”
He said the project is integrated into other projects to be undertaken by the borough, including composting and community gardening.
Morris-Julian said, “I really care about climate change. I think we have to do all we can to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
She added, “We didn’t just want shade. We wanted fruits. We wanted food so anyone can help themselves.
She said although she would like to see the project initiated throughout the country, she was happy to see it start in Malabar.
“Because I come from local government, I understand that it must start at this level, the ground level.
“I am an older mother. I have a 21-year-old and a three-year-old. I always wondered what will meet my three-year-old. In this global difficulty, we will have to go back to the land.”
Morris-Julian commended the work that Malabar South councillor Jocelyn Worrell has done to get the project off the ground.
Worrell said the borough aims to plant trees that are no longer well known to the younger generations.
“We have decided not to plant the normal everyday trees, but exotic trees. We’re looking at planting fruit trees along the carriageway such as sugar apple and stinking toes. Children nowadays are not familiar with these trees,” she joked.
She said the initiative will serve the community by providing food and absorbing carbon dioxide.