Project strives to have 200 Mature Sabal Palms on Klein Bonaire

The planting efforts are everything but easy. The help provided by the Dutch Army was more than welcome.

Kralendijk- Former STINAPA director Elsmarie Beukenboom has initiated another reforestation project, this time on Klein Bonaire.

Initially Beukenboom wanted to plant as many as 1000 units of the endemic and endangered local palm on Klein Bonaire. In the meantime this amount has been adjusted to the more realistic goal of 500 young palms.

Beukenboom knows that not all of the new seedlings will survive. “We have to be realistic and from prior projects we know that about 60% of the seedlings will not survive. This means that in the end we will have about 200 palms that will survive and grow up”, said Beukenboom.


Beukenboom in her efforts got help from various volunteers, Park Rangers and even the Dutch Army, to dig about 500 holes on Klein Bonaire for the planting of the endangered palms. Certainly no easy task. “What we did as much as possible is flip big rocks, so that the hole under these rocks can be used to plant the palms”, said Beukenboom about the project.

The project for the palms is the second initiative in a short time to save the rare palm from extinction. Recently Commissioner James Kroon announced another project to start a ‘Sabal Palm Park’ with the help of third parties.


While Beukenboom, as no one else on the island knows how difficult the reforestation efforts are, she is optimistic. “If I see how many trees after 10 years have reached an adult stage on Klein Bonaire and are now even bearing fruits, I feel confident that we will achieve our goal once again”. According to Beukenboom the new fruit trees have attracted birds to the small island which were not seen in many years.

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