The Little League Ball Park became a lot greener on Saturday, August 19, when Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle planted 26 coconut trees and 24 palm trees. The tree planting was the result of the ongoing Rotary Plant a Tree Project. The coconut trees and top soil were donated by Jerry Speetjens, and the palm trees by Rotarian Wayne Wilkie. Windward Roads assisted by providing a backhoe to dig the holes for the trees.


This project was an initiative of 2017-2018 Rotary International President Ian H.S. Riseley. He challenged all 1.2 million Rotarians to each plant a tree between the start of the Rotary year July 1, 2017, and Earth Day, which is celebrated on April 22, 2018. With this project, he hopes Rotary Clubs will become more active in regard to the environment.


Riseley: “Environmental issues rarely register on the Rotary agenda. The time is long past when environmental sustainability can be dismissed as not Rotary’s concern. It is, and must be, everyone’s concern.”


Planting trees will help to improve environment sustainability, because trees remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air that we breathe. This will hopefully slow down the effects of global warming.


Riseley: “It is my hope that the result of that effort will be far greater than the environmental benefit that those 1.2 million new trees will bring. I believe the greater result will be a Rotary that recognizes its responsibility not only to the people on our planet, but to the planet itself.”


Rotary Mid-Isle teamed up with Little League’s Player Development because, according to Club Secretary Denise Antrobus, “We wanted to plant trees where they would be appreciated and taken care of, and where we could keep an eye on them ourselves.” Rotary Mid-Isle has a long-time involvement with Player Development. They plan to visit Player Development at least once a month, and as such this would be an ideal location.


Some 11 Rotarians: two partners in service, one prospective Rotarian, Coach Tom Burnett and some of his players from Player Development were involved in the planting of the trees. The children helped by filling holes, watering all the trees and placing stone borders around the smallest trees to protect them from being damaged. Of course, the children are looking forward to the coconuts, because these will provide them with coconut milk and a yummy treat to eat. They will acquire a lot of patience and will in time earn the coconut produce.

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