(CMR) The Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency is planting seven trees at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park Children's Garden to honor each decade of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's reign.
At a private event on 13 September, the Premier and Minister of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency, Hon. G. Wayne Panton planted the first tree near the Discovery Pond. The trees include two Mahogany trees grown from seed by the Department of Agriculture and five native trees supplied by the Botanic Park nursery and purchased using funds donated by Rotary Central Cayman Islands to the Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency's national tree planting initiative.
The remaining trees will be planted with the Ministry's departments and other collaborating agencies.
Mr. Panton said the location of the tree planting held special significance for both Her Late Majesty's memory and His Majesty King Charles III.
“Not only did Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II open the Botanic Park on her second visit to the Cayman Islands as Head of State in 1994, our new monarch, His Majesty King Charles III, opened the Children's Garden during his visit to our islands in 2019,” Mr. Panton said, noting both monarchs have been steady advocates for environmental stewardship and climate change awareness over the years.
“It is my hope these trees will grow and thrive as a living testament to the profound impact of Her Late Majesty's seven decades of service, benefitting all children who visit the Botanic Park to learn and play,” he added.
Botanic Park Manager John Lawrus said: “Designed to help our young visitors learn about the natural world around them and have fun doing so, the Children's Garden is a true community effort that continues to grow with each generous donation. We were honored that His Majesty King Charles III opened the Children's Garden during his last visit to the Cayman Islands, continuing Her Late Majesty's legacy of support for the Botanic Park.
He continued, “These trees are a special reminder of the important role the Monarchy has played in the Botanic Park's founding and continued development.”
The tree planting event was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency, the Botanic Park, the Tourism Attraction Board, and Hazard Management Cayman Islands.
Ministry Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn said the Ministry's national tree planting initiative, originally launched in January 2022 in celebration of Her Late Majesty's Platinum Jubilee, will continue, modified to honor The Late Queen's life and legacy.
“The goal of the Jubilee Tree Planting initiative was to create a living legacy that honors The Queen's leadership and benefits future generations – an aim which still stands and is perhaps even more meaningful now. We encourage anyone in our community wishing to honor Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's legacy to consider planting a tree as a sign of respect for her dedicated service,” she said.
Non-profit organizations, educational institutions, or companies interested in planting trees in a community space in memory of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II are encouraged to visit www.gov.ky/national-tree-planting or email www.gov.ky/national-tree-planting or email [email protected] for more information.