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Monday, February 26, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsArbor Day Ceremony Launches 'Trees 4 St. Croix' Project

Arbor Day Ceremony Launches ‘Trees 4 St. Croix’ Project

In the SGVBG nursery, the trees to be distributed in 2020 are being grown. Dewey Hollister, executive director, shows the seedlings that are carefully being cultivated. (Source photo by Linda Morland)

The Trees 4 St. Croix project was launched in an Arbor Day tree-planting ceremony on Friday at St. George Village Botanical Garden. The project aims to grow 6,000 trees during the next six months for distribution to the public at no cost.

The project’s mission is to educate the community about the importance of trees for homes, neighborhoods and towns. Although Arbor Day is a U.S. national holiday on the last Friday in April, other dates are used by various states. In the USVI, Arbor Day is the last Friday in September. Countries throughout the world celebrate Arbor Day.

The Arbor Day ceremony was opened with short comments from Dewey Hollister, the botanical garden’s executive director, and others who talked about the importance of Arbor Day and the Trees 4 St. Croix project. The project has been funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. A tree planting ceremony was held outside the Great Hall where a Cogshall Mango, a dwarf tree, was planted. Two more dwarf mangos will be planted nearby.

The event was a collaboration of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands and the University of the Virgin Islands. In addition to growing and distributing trees, a community based initiative to collect seeds of local native trees to deposit in a seed bank was launched. The public is encourage to participate. More information is available at https://sgvbg.org/seedstewards/.

Checking the Cogshall Mango tree that will be planted in honor of USVI Arbor Day are Pat Sellergren, SGVBG board member; Dewey Hollister, SGVBG executive director; and Dee Baecher-Brown of the Community Foundation of the VI. All have been involved in the Trees 4 St. Croix project. (Source photo by Linda Morland)

Order forms were available for attendees to fill out or take home. More than fifty varieties of trees will be available. Each person can select five for free. Trees may be ordered online or by downloading the form at https://sgvbg.org/trees4stx/. They will be ready for distribution in early 2020. Among the selections are Ginger Thomas, mangos, coconut palms, hog plums, sea grapes, frangipani, calabash, royal palms, avocados and banana trees.

Pictured are a few of the available trees and plants.

Ripening mangos will soon be ready to eat. Although the main season is approximately from May through September, a few trees will bear at different times throughout the year. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Ginger Thomas (Tecoma Stans) is the national flower of the USVI. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
A late blooming Frangipani shows the beauty of this easily grown tree. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Sea Grapes begin to ripen on this hardy tree. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
The calabash tree is often grown for its fruits that can be used to make bowls, containers and utensils. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Royal Palms line the drive at the SGVBG. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Hog plum trees can become quite large and yield bright orange fruits as shown by this wonderful specimen at SGVBG.  (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Coconut palms are among the trees that can be ordered through Trees 4 St. Croix. (Source photo by Linda Morland)


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