|DECR Junior Park Wardens learn environmentalism|
|Thursday, 29 July 2010 10:02|
Seventeen Provo youngsters earned Junior Park Wardens Programme certificates in this year’s annual summer program by the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources.
The program is open to all youth, ages 13-18, who complete an application, including an environmental essay. Activities focus on environmental awareness, and this year’s activities were wide-reaching.
Between July 12-23, participants actively participated in straightforward environmental activities such as eco-tourism, snorkeling and classroom sessions on ecology. They also learned about environmental journalism, photography and had the opportunity to learn SCUBA diving.
National Environmental Centre Curator Lormeka Williams, who coordinated the Providenciales sessions, found the programme challenging but effective in its active learning methods for the participants.
As part of the programme the participants not only learned about the TCI environment, but they also were able to learn about the culture of the islands. Daphne Forbes led the participants in a demonstration of plaiting big top palm leaves, popularly known as straw work.
DECR scientific officers provided invaluable support by teaching about snorkeling, coral reef restoration and native plant propagation. Participants learned hands-on about the native reptiles of the Turks and Caicos Islands, as well as about the invasive animals that threaten our native species.
Field trips were frequent.
Junior Park Wardens visited Amanyara Resort to learn about native tree landscaping, kayaked in the mangroves around Mangrove Cay, and took a semi-submarine trip to see coral reefs and turtles.
An all-day field trip to important eco-tourism sites in North and Middle Caicos allowed participants to explore Conch Bar Caves and the tropical dry forest. They also visited the pine yards and the Caicos Pine Recovery Project nursery to realize the plight of the Caicos pine, our National Tree.
For the first time in TCI history, Junior Park Wardens participated in a coral fragment propagation exercise, which will result in new corals able to be transplanted to artificial reefs and reef balls. While some activities were hindered by the tropical depression over TCI at the time, most of the activities were intrepidly continued.
A commencement ceremony on Friday, July 23, showcased participants’ activities and accomplishments to parents and programme supporters. Each student was awarded a certificate of completion and a locally-designed T-shirt.
The Junior Park Warden Programme is supported by the Pine Cay Project, which funds special education projects in the TCI. This year marks the programme’s 10th anniversary.
Former participants have gone on to study environmental sciences or work in eco-tourism and other environmental areas.
2010 Junior Park Wardens
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Links to environmental documents and laws