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International grant benefits Cayman Islands Botanic Park’s Children’s Garden

GRAND CAYMAN (GIS) – The young people of the Cayman Islands are set to benefit from a grant of nearly USD20,000 recently received by the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

The Botanic Park is a 2018 recipient of 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. The money will be used to help develop the planned ‘Children’s Garden’ on over an acre of the extensive grounds that the park occupies in North Side.

Expressing gratitude to Clarke for the recognition, Botanic Park General Manager John Lawrus explains that the proposed Children’s 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,” Mr. Lawrus remarks.

He adds that the design allows for structured learning on one side of the development. Meanwhile the other side will facilitate learning through play, and will be open to residents, visitors as well as all school groups.

The Botanic Park expects to start physical construction of the Children’s Garden this year with completion scheduled for 2019.

Mr. Lawrus notes that the project relies heavily on assistance from the community, including 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; MRCU uses Clarke formulations as part of their Integrated Mosquito Management program.

Commenting on this process Chief Executive Officer J. Lyell Clarke says: “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 Mosquito Research and Control Unit Director Jim McNelly, PhD, a former Clarke employee, at the urging of Ministry of Health Deputy Chief Officer Nancy Barnard.

In the cover letter for the nomination form, Dr. McNelly described the importance of the QEII Botanic Park across the Cayman Islands. In addition it hosts the National Trust of the Cayman Islands Blue Iguana Recovery Programme which has helped to save the endemic blue iguana from extinction.

Environment Minister Hon. Dwayne Seymour, whose portfolio includes MRCU, was present for the handover of the cheque. Councillor Capt. Eugene Ebanks and Senior Policy Advisor for Environment Troy Jacob, were also in attendance. Minister Seymour noted there are 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. 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,” the Minister said.




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