October 28, 2020

Meet Cayman Islands’ youngest environmentalist!


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use-dsc_0264[8-year-old requests donations as birthday present]


[North Side, Grand Cayman, October 18, 2016 – The most recent donation to the Children’s Garden at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park has come from 8-year-old, Kaz Conolly Basdeo.

The young environmental enthusiast requested friends to give a small donation to the Children’s Garden at the Botanic Park rather than giving presents, at his recent 8th birthday party.

In a hand-written letter to the Manager at the Botanic Park, Kaz wrote:

“I really love those ideas for the garden. It’s cool how you thought of all of that to put in the Children’s Garden… I am going to do a presentation and ask my classmates for ideas.. I am also going to ask my teachers if my class can go on a field trip when it is finished.” – Kaz Conolly Basdeo.

Kaz went on to explain that he will be donating all of the money he received from his 8th birthday party to the Children’s Garden, and that he is very much looking forward to the final “masterpiece”.

Kaz is the youngest donor to date, for the Children’s Garden project, and his proud mum hopes that

“this encourages other children and families to support the Children’s Garden”. – Marilyn Conolly, Mother of Kaz Conolly Basdeo.

Acting CEO of the confirmed that he was:

“very proud to see such a young Caymanian take an interest in the Botanic Park. As Isiah Chapter 11, verse 6 reminds us; ‘a child will lead them’, and truly Kaz is the child who is leading this cause”. – Mr. Patrick Thompson, ACEO, Tourism Attraction Board.

“It gives us great confidence in the future role of the Park in our community, and indeed in that of the TAB in its overall efforts to preserve and protect local nature and culture.” – Mr. Thompson, ACEO, Tourism Attraction Board.

The Manager at the Botanic Park – Mr. – stated that:

“I was very honored and pleased to receive the letter from Kaz regarding his donation to the Children’s Garden. It gives us great encouragement and joy in knowing that this is something our children and future leaders are excited about.

Nature is so delicate and ever-changing, and without the understanding and respect from young person’s such as Kaz, it may be lost on future generations as we move ever so quickly in the digital age.

The Children’s Garden will ensure that our youth will be part of the important process of preserving and protecting this natural landscape, particularly through interaction, learning, and fun.”

To have a young person with the mindset of how equally important is to give back to the community is truly heart-warming.” – Mr. John Lawrus, , The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

The plans for the Children’s Garden are underway, and site works are scheduled to begin in late November of this year. The project is hoped to be completed by late 2018.

To host a party to raise donations for the Children’s Garden, or to see how you can get involved, email Mr. John Lawrus at [email protected], or call 947-9462.

“The value of botanic parks in our society is tough to measure, as a simple walk in nature provides much relief to our daily stresses that we always don’t even realize. Not only the importance of conservation of our natural world, but the passive learning that goes on as a child looks at the shapes of a leaf, or discovers an insect pollinating a follow are only a small part of what is intended to be accomplished by the Children’s Garden at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. In addition the outdoor classroom will provide a location for all schools of the Cayman Islands to teach an earth sciences class without having to go back on the bus. The Children’s Garden will be the classroom for all of our youth to use.” – Mr. John Lawrus, General Manager, The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, an attraction managed by the Tourism Attraction Board, is open Monday to Sunday from 9:00AM to 4:30PM. Boasting over 62 acres of tropical landscape, the Park is home to an abundance of wildlife including many of the islands’ 56 species of butterfly, native birds, the Cayman Parrot and the endangered Cayman Blue Iguana. With multiple floral gardens, woodland trails, wetlands, a lake and many species of palm trees, there is so much to do and see at the Botanic Park!

The Park which was originally designed to show and preserve the Cayman Islands’ native flora and fauna – as well as to promote education, conservation and recreation – now has over 30,000 visitors each year, many of whom come to enjoy the tranquility, culture and natural beauty that abounds in this hidden treasure. The Heritage Garden is a beautiful celebration of the islands, and the traditional Caymanian way of life.

The Botanic park offers residents a discounted rate of CI$5.00 per adult, and FREE admission for children under 12, and seniors over 60.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Mr. John Lawrus on 947-9462, or email [email protected]

Photo: (Left to Right):

Mr. John Lawrus, General Manager, The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and Kaz Conolly Basdeo

SOURCE: Cayman Islands Tourism Attraction Board

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