(CNS Local Life): The planned Children’s Garden in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park has been given a boost with a recent grant of almost US$20,000 from the Clarke “One (%) For Tomorrow” Next Gen Award, an international programme that supports non-profits whose efforts preserve the environment.
Clarke president and CEO, Dr Lyell Clarke, presented Botanic Park general manager John Lawrus with a cheque on Wednesday, 10 October 2018, statedva government press release. The money will be used to help develop the Children’s Garden on more than an acre of the extensive grounds that the park occupies in North Side.
In thanking Clarke for the recognition, Lawrus explained that the proposed garden was part of the original master plan for the park, which was created in 1994.
“A purpose-designed, educational garden will help children develop an appreciation of nature, conservation and the environment that surrounds us,” Lawrus said.
He added that the design allowed for structured learning on one side of the development, with the other side facilitating learning through play, and will be open to residents, visitors as well as all school groups.
The Botanic Park expects to start construction of the Children’s Garden this year with completion scheduled for 2019.
The project relies heavily on assistance from the community, Lawrus explained, which includes private individuals and members of the local business community, as well as like-minded companies such as Clarke.
The Clarke award is a one-time grant that recognises organisations striving to restore and/or preserve the environment, wildlife and food production. Clarke is a US-based company that focuses on public health mosquito control and aquatics services.
To be eligible for the programme, organisations must be nominated by current customers or Clarke. Cayman’s Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU), which uses Clarke formulations as part of their Integrated Mosquito Management programme, nominated the Botanic Park.
Clarke explained the selection process for the grant. “The men and women of Clarke select nonprofits in the communities we serve, which care for people, the planet and wildlife. The “One% For Tomorrow” programme is an important part of Clarke’s ongoing commitment to making communities more livable, safe and comfortable, and we’re proud to support the excellent work of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.”
The Botanic Park was nominated by MRCU director Jim McNelly, a former Clarke employee, at the urging of Ministry of Health Deputy Chief Officer Nancy Barnard.
Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour, whose portfolio includes MRCU, was at the cheque handover, along with Councillor Capt. Eugene Ebanks and Senior Policy Advisor for Environment Troy Jacob. Seymour noted there were fewer locations in the Cayman Islands than he would like where children can interact with and learn from nature in a safe environment.
“The addition of an outdoor educational area and an onsite classroom will really enhance what the Botanic Park has to offer our young people,” Seymour said. “I believe it will be well received by educators, by students and their parents, and will help to increase the number of younger people visiting the park.”
Councillor Capt. Eugene Ebanks and Senior Policy Advisor for Environment Troy Jacob, also attended the ceremony.