The Academy carries out major tree planting campaigns and a total of 25.000 + trees have been planted.
Trees tie carbon, 1/5 of the Co2 is in the world’s forests.
Furthermore, trees provide many important benefits such as:
- filter pollution from the air
- produce oxygen
- help recycle water
- prevent soil loss and erosion
- create shade
- give shelter from wind and rain
- provide homes and food
Tree planting campaigns summary
|“Hold your own Moringa Tree” Rally||10.000||2013|
|Planting in Disaster Areas||10.000||2014|
|Tree Planting at RVA Farm and Richmond Beach||1.500||2014-15|
“Hold your own Moringa tree” rally
To mobilise a large number of local people, RVA decided in 2013 to select the Moringa tree for its first campaign to boost the tree planting efforts in the communities. The moringa oleifera tree has been present in St. Vincent for many decades but, before the Rally, few people were using the tree.
Moringa was chosen because of it’s very nutritious abilities. It goes by a variety of names, such as drumstick tree, horseradish tree, or ben oil tree. Almost all parts of the tree can be eaten or used. The leaves and pods are commonly eaten in many parts of the world.
The leaves are an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals. One cup of freshly chopped leaves (21 grams) contains the following:
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
- Iron: 11% of the RDA
- Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDA.
Compared to the leaves, the pods are generally lower in vitamins and minerals. However, they are exceptionally rich in vitamin C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods (100 grams) contains 157% of the daily requirement for vitamin C. The food, people eat today, often lack vitamins, minerals and protein.
Moringa Oleifera can be an important source of many essential nutrients for people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The conference participants harvested seeds from trees in Troumaka, Coulls Hill, Layou and Orange Hill and set up a nursery at RVA with 10.000 plants. Under the headline “Hold Your Own Moringa Tree”, the participants distributed trees from a truck to many villages across the country. Several community groups distributed trees in places such as Villa Flat, Rose Place, Sion Hill, Vermont and Rose Hall. More than 300 people came to Richmond Vale Academy to “Hold their own”. A total of 10.000 trees were handed out and planted.
During the campaign, many of the planting events and the awareness actions promoting the health benefits of moringa, were aired on the main media stations. Furthermore, the Moringa Rally had other benefits, it increased the livelihoods of people who started producing and processing moringa commercially for tea, powder, pills, cream and soap.
Planting of trees in disaster areas
In 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture, MCT and RVA teamed up to replant trees in Leeward Villages. These villages were declared level two disaster by the Government after the flash floods 24th of December 2013.
Before the tree planting action, RVA built a nursery and set all the seedlings.
Community groups were identified in North-and South Leeward and the groups were successfully mobilised and took part in the planting actions. 10.000 trees were planted at many locations such as private lands, backyards, common areas, road and riverbanks.
The majority of the trees planted were Moringa trees along with 300 other trees provided by the Forestry Department like: Breadfruit, Mahogany, Sweetsop, Carambola (Five Finger) and Tamarind.
Videos from Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel:
- Mustique Charitable Trust 2014 Tree Planting
- We plant Trees!
Treelympics 2014 and 2015
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment invited RVA to take part in a meeting where, with other stakeholders, they analyzed how St. Vincent could participate (and possibly win) “The Olympic Games in Tree Planting”.
This tree planting olympiade was created by an NGO called ENO Environment Online. The NGO aims to engage schools around the world in a global tree planting competition. It was funded by the Finnish Government and was initiated at the RIO+20 conference in 2012.
There are three categories in this annual competition. One category aims to plant the most trees while another aims to do so with the most schools. However, since SVG is a small country, at the meeting everyone decided to go for winning the third category; to plant with the highest percentage of participating schools. Therefore, in the following months participants planted trees with 100 schools and some community groups.
During the two Treelympics, more than 10.000 teachers and students received lessons on the importance of trees prior to the planting actions.
The RRACC project implemented by the OECS Commission, The Inivershall Rastafari Movement, Scotiabank and the Mustique Charitable Trust were the main sponsors of the planting and education actions held in SVG. In 2014 and 2015, the competition was held between 114 countries and St. Vincent won gold in the category: The World’s most active country. Both victories put the county on the world map as a country caring for the environment.
The Treelympics 2015 was carried out like the one in 2014. However, unlike in 2014 (where the trees planted were mostly Moringa trees) in 2015, a variety of fruit trees like Soursop, Mango, Papaya and Cherries were planted. Over the two years, 3.500 trees were planted.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel:
Treelympics Website: www.treelympics.org