|Going Green: Earth Day 2012 – Hundreds of Grand Bahamians volunteer in the community|
|Monday, 23 April 2012 08:52|
Sunday, April 22, marked the official 42nd annual international celebration of Earth Day. Over the weekend hundreds of Grand Bahamians volunteered throughout the island to be part of this important global event. Civic organizations, schools and local businesses came out in big numbers to assist with cleaning up beaches, planting trees, and getting children involved with taking responsibility for their environment.
Over the years there have been many initiatives on Grand Bahama to celebrate Earth Day. Each year the number of people who participate in these events grows. This year the Keep Grand Bahama Clean (KGBC) committee reached out to civic organizations and local businesses to assist with organizing activities throughout the island. The response from the community was so overwhelming that Earth Day events had to be scheduled over a full week from April 20 – April 28.
Earth Day week events started on Friday, April 20, when members of the Lion’s Club donated and planted trees in the Beacon School’s native tree garden. The Lion’s Club is an amazing non-profit organization with a local chapter here on the island that continuously participates and supports humanitarian and community causes. The event at the Beacon School was part of the Lion’s Club International Million Tree Planting Campaign which focuses on caring for the environment and the community by planting trees. Lion’s Club volunteers along with faculty and children who attend the Beacon School gathered together to plant several trees including Neem, Noni, and Sugar Apple just to name a few.On Saturday, April 21, the events continued. One of the many clean ups was scheduled at Williamstown beach at 8:00AM. By 8:15AM communication from KGBC partners on West End indicated the rain was on its way, but it was only a light rain and the teams out West were continuing with their efforts. The wind and clouds did not deter the Williamstown participants either.
By 8:30AM volunteers from Royal Bank of Canada, Sister Mary Patricia School, the Royal Bahamian Police Force and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force Ranger teams who were out in full force. What a wonderful site to see people of all ages, from different backgrounds, businesses, political parties and social status’ working together island-wide for the greater good.
In the mean time, over at Walter Parker Primary School members of the Pilot Club of Lucaya were planting trees and cleaning up the school grounds. This wonderful group is part of the Pilot International non-profit organization. Their mission is to support brain research, and assist those with brain-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, chemical dependency, traumatic brain injuries, brain cancer, autism and numerous other developmental, emotional and mental disabilities.
The Grand Bahama chapters of Pilot International assist locally in these areas at the Beacon School and the Rand Memorial Hospital. In true non-profit fashion, the work never ends. Whether it is raising money for brain research or assisting with beautifying a local school, it is the dedication of those who serve and participate that shines. Are you serving?
The activities in this article are only the tip of the Earth Day iceberg of events going on this week on Grand Bahama. So get out there and do your part. Get involved and be part of the “green team”. And next time you think that no one is doing anything about keeping our island clean, it just means that YOU are not doing anything. For if you were involved, you would see that there are hundreds of us who are committed to the cause and doing things every day.
Our island and our nation have blessed us with some of the most bountiful and beautiful natural resources on earth. Isn’t it time that every single one of us starts taking responsibility for protecting and preserving these resources? Are you doing your part?
And for those of you who may not be into the “environmental” thing, at the very least get involved with one of the local civic organizations who serve the community. There are so many great things going on that have a positive influence on those who participate and those they serve.
Would you ever choose stagnation and negativity over progress and goodness? Would you prefer your obituary to read: “He/She drove a nice car and made lots of money”, or “He/She was a role model for others who cared about the community”. I rest my case.
Photo 1: Lion's club volunteer Cyprianna Williams and Beacon School student Jayvon Scott.
Photo 2: Lion's club and Beacon School Celebrate Earth Day.
Photo 3: RBC volunteers at Williamstown clean up.
Photo 4: Pauline Wells from Ministry of Tourism with RBDF Rangers.
Photo 5: Pilot Club of Lucaya at Walter Parker Primary School.
Cheri Wood recently retired from Bank of America and has now permanently relocated to Grand Bahama. Her career of over 20 years in corporate America included serving in various capacities including training, marketing, sales, quality control, risk assessment, communications and operational management. While performing her regular job responsibilities, Cheri also served several years as the president of the Environmental Network for the Bank of America in the State of Rhode Island. Her experience in the environmental arena includes project management and coordination of volunteer events on local and national levels throughout the United States. Over the years she has worked closely with organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, the Rhode Island Rivers’ Council, and in 2010 Cheri served as secretary of the GB Branch of the Bahamas National Trust. Cheri is involved with increasing recycling on the island, promoting green practices with local businesses, educating the community on the importance of preserving the environment, and serving as a resource for those who wish to participate in environmental opportunities on local and international levels.
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