|The US Embassy celebrates Earth Day in the Abacos|
|Friday, 27 April 2012 13:42|
ABACO, Bahamas -- In honor of Earth Day, a group of U.S. Embassy representatives, including the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, John Dinkelman, traveled to Marsh Harbour and Hope Town on April 23 and 24 to meet with Abaconians who are working to preserve the Family Island’s natural beauty.
Over the course of two days, Embassy representatives visited the Abaco Neem facility for a briefing on a range of products derived from the local organically grown trees and medicinal plants, toured a nature preserve in southern Abaco that is home to hundreds of Bahama Parrots protected under the Wild Bird Act, and met with the founder of Every Child Counts, Lynn Major, to learn about artist Antonious Roberts’ mentoring to students with special needs that draws inspiration from the natural environment.
While in Marsh Harbour, Embassy representatives also presented awards to the winners of the Friends of the Environment’s first Earth Day photo contest, with the top prize – a new iPad – going to Natasha Albury. The Embassy co-sponsored the contest in support of the NGO’s efforts to encourage young people throughout Abaco to protect the environment and adopt sustainable practices. Friends of the Environment concluded the event with a tree planting ceremony in honor of the passing of Michael Lightbourn who was the President of the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) during its formative years and a leading environmental advocate.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman continued the environmentally focused visit to Abaco on April 24 with a student led tour of Hope Town Primary School, which was recently recognized as a Green-Flag Eco-School. The Eco-School program was developed by the United Nations in response to the need to involve young people in local environmental projects and to raise students’ awareness of environmental issues through school and community action. Hope Town Primary is the second in the English speaking Caribbean to obtain the Eco-School designation after Deep Creek Middle School in Rock Sound Eleuthera.
After a musical program with an Earth Day theme, Hope Town Primary students briefed Chargé Dinkelman on the environmental projects that earned the school’s Green Flag designation, including their composting system and beach reclaiming project. The visit to the primary school ended with an Earth Day tree planting ceremony that included Chargé Dinkelman and other U.S. Embassy Officials, Hope Town Primary Students, and special guest, Anna Albury, who returned to her old primary school for the special event.
Chargé Dinkelman’s first official visit to Abaco also included a meeting with BASRA representatives and a tour of historic Hope Town sites by the Chief and Vice Councilors. Photos of the entire visit are available on U.S. Embassy Nassau’s Facebook page.
Photo 1: Public Affairs Officer Erica Thibault with awards to the winners of the Friends of the Environment’s first Earth Day photo contest, including the winner of the top prize, Natasha Albury.
Photo 2: Chargé Dinkelman and other U.S. Embassy Officials, Hope Town Primary Students, and special guest, Anna Albury, who returned to her old primary school participate in a tree planting ceremony.
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