Oranjestad- Nature Organization STENAPA will be organizing an information session to discuss the upcoming plans to work on reforestation on St. Eustatius.
The information session, which takes place on Monday, November 12 from 7-9 PM at the Golden Era Hotel is open to the general public. The project is be a partnership between STENAPA, Mac and Field, and the ministry of Agriculture (LVV) with the goal to plant back trees that fell down during hurricane Irma. Planting back trees will reduce erosion and improve the hurricane reliance of Statia.
A special invitation is extended to Statians with knowledge on native trees and native plants that seem to be hurricane resilient. Some of the native trees to be planted are Silk cotton, Acacia, Lignum vitae, Cedar, Mahogany, Tamarind, Surinam cherry, West Indian cherry, Cashew, Coconut, Soursop, Sugar apple, Guava, Flamboyant, Stinking loe ‘locust’, Genip, Maiden apple and Sea grape. These plants will be obtained from existing plants on the island, either from seeds or cuttings. A local nursery will be designated for the growth and multiplication of the specimen.
Replanted areas will be fenced off to prevent roaming animals from reaching the newly planted saplings. This exclusion of roaming animals is critical to the growth of the plants and reduce the negative impacts of heavy rainfall on the tree roots. Invasive species such as the giant African land snail also need to be excluded from these plots. Various locations have been identified as crucial to replant based on the loss of trees due to the hurricanes and heavily eroded areas. Secondary locations include the heavily eroded cliff drop off and the Class Gut area. Input of residents of Statia is highly valued to determine definitive planting locations.
Several activities such as Community Planting Day, Adopt-a-Tree, donating of selling plants and so on will provide numerous opportunities for people to be involved in the project. The discussions on Monday will explain how people can play a role in tailoring this project to Statia’s needs.