Saba, Dutch Caribbean - April 22nd was a day of action and celebration on Saba as the community came together to celebrate Earth Day. The day concluded a series of week-long events and activities aimed at promoting sustainability and conservation.
Tree Planting Event
Earth Day celebrations began on April 19th with a tree planting event, which took place at the Sacred Heart School and at the Harry L. Johnson Museum, where kids from each school planted a variety of trees. Students and teachers with the help of Public Entity Saba took part to dig the holes for the trees, carefully placing them in the ground ensuring that the trees are planted at the correct depth. The location and the trees planted were selected to aid in the natural habitat and to further enable a livable environment for local wildlife.
The tree planting event garnered enthusiastic participation from the school kids. The school’s participation in the event played a vital role in the reforestation project. The reforestation project is aimed at rehabilitating Saba's indigenous environment through a diverse selection of native trees such as Mahogany, Cedar, Sea Grape, and others. This project has the potential to greatly contribute towards the establishment of a more robust and self-sufficient ecosystem on the island of Saba.
The Earth Day festivities continued on April 20th and 21st with the annual island clean-up event, organized by the Public Entity Saba. Over 100 volunteers from local organizations, schools, businesses, and government departments came together to clean up around the villages on the island. According to Camilo Usuga “over 80% of the waste collected was bottles thrown over the walls”. This event serves as a reminder of the collective responsibility that we all have to keep our environment clean and safe for all.
The recent island clean-up event demonstrated the effectiveness of community-led initiatives in promoting environmental sustainability and preserving the natural beauty of Saba. The Public Entity Saba expresses its gratitude to all the volunteers who took part in the event and urges the community to maintain their endeavors in keeping the island clean.
The week of Earth Day events conclude on Saturday April 22nd with the Sustainable Fair at the Julianna’s Sports Field. The fair featured a range of local artists and vendors along with activities, all aimed at promoting sustainable living and conservation on the island.
The highlight of the fair was the sustainable sculptures made by students using only recycled materials. Jordan Every stated the “kids were excited to have a project to work on and present here today. We wanted to make sure the groups creating the sculptures were equal so the primary school students were divided into groups based on their house colors and the secondary school students were based on classrooms.”
Each sculpture was voted on by the community attending the fair. The sculptures included underwater environments such as “Sunshine Saba” and creatures under the sea like sculptures “Octoworld” and “Sea Nettle”. Other exciting sculptures focused on land included the “Saba Well”, “Island Diamond Rebirth”, and “Alberto” and a vibrant tree decorated with flowers. The winner of the sculpture contest from the primary school was the Purple House with “Octoworld” and from the secondary school was form 2 with “Alberto”.
The fair was a great opportunity for participants to learn about conservation and recycling as well as to engage with local businesses working towards environmental sustainability on the island. Speaking with Jordan Every during the event she said, "The Sustainable Fair has been a success, and it was wonderful to have all the stakeholders come together to create an event that encourages the collaboration of creativity and sustainability.”
In summary, the Earth Day festivities held on Saba were a genuine representation of the island's dedication to safeguarding the environment and preserving it for the future. The week-long celebration comprised various events such as an island clean-up, tree planting, and Sustainable Fair, which emphasized the shared responsibility we all have to conserve our environment and encourage sustainable lifestyles.