Earth Day 2008 on the SJHS Provisions Grounds(By Bruce Schoonover and Robin Swank)
On Tuesday, April 15th, the Society once again participated in the “Friends of Virgin Islands National Park” Earth Day festivities. The goal is to educate, inform, and inspire V.I. youth and the community on the importance of preserving and protecting our environment. This year, over 300 children from numerous schools gathered at the National Park Ball Field in Cruz Bay and toured the many exhibits. The SJHS’s theme was ‘provisions.’ Youngsters from the island’s schools gathered around tables under our debuting Historical Society banners, to color images of pineapple, sugar apple, waterlemon, banana trees, and scotch bonnet peppers. While coloring, they were also mostly successful at naming the provisions piled in baskets in the center of the tables—yams and sweet potatoes, green and ripe bananas, plantain, pineapple, limes, sour oranges, and papayas. Tania was a most troublesome root, however, and few recognized that one. Some items were identifiable by scent. Bay rum tree leaves, wild basil and other bush tea leaves were identified. One young man who couldn’t identify an oversized imported papaya by sight, easily identified it by smell! Some things were identified by shape; even though we had no breadfruit, the huge breadfruit leaves were clearly recognizable.
Earth Day Environmental Fair at the National Park ball field in Cruz Bay.