April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day at an international level. One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) has celebrated Earth Day since 2012. The celebrations have always involved a strong commitment to the environment featuring recycling, agriculture, and food preservation. This year, the OEF will celebrate Earth Day 2020 and 10 years of ‘A Shared Vision’ in collaboration with Michael Singer with two events: a ‘Why Environmental Education matters more now, than ever!’ webinar; and a tree planting initiative with 100 free feeding plants available to residents of Eleuthera.

The ‘Why Environmental Education matters more now, than ever!’ webinar will be hosted by Mrs. Banu Devi Nair, Director of Academic Affairs for OEF with special guest presenter Khalea Richard, Environmental Youth Advocate. The webinar will be available live on Zoom on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Those interested in participating can access the webinar at https://zoom.us/j/94050572281.

As a part of its celebrations, OEF embraced the invitation from BNT to participate in a tree planting campaign on the Island. The goal for the Caribbean is to have participating nations plant thousands of ‘trees that feed’ throughout the year; OEF agreed to coordinate tree planting in Eleuthera.

OEF invites residents of Eleuthera to come to The Farm at its campus in Rock Sound, Eleuthera, to collect guava, sour orange and sugar apple trees with the goals of encouraging tree planting for Earth Day 2020 and promoting food sustainability for the future. Plant collection will begin on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 between the hours of 9am and 12pm from The Farm. This will continue each Wednesday during the same hours once declared safe; physical distancing and masks are required. Residents are encouraged to plant the trees they collect in a location of their choice, record a video or take photos of the process, and share it with OEF via social media with #OEFtreeplantingprogram #treesthatfeed.

The OEF is committed to enhancing agricultural growth in the island and will work with local farmers and residents to foster both individual vegetables gardens and larger farms to enhance growth and sustainability of food production.

Since September 2019, OEF expanded its on-site farm initiative and brought on the services of Mr. Mike Lightbourne and Mr. Deon Gibson, both successful farmers who had been working in full-time farming in Abaco prior to Hurricane Dorian. Both of these men have brought a vast amount of expertise and knowledge to The Farm.

The Farm will work in tandem with The Tea Room Restaurant to develop and grow its farm to table program. Although this is not new to The Bahamas, the country has not yet begun to thoroughly explore the possibilities of developing farms that will produce sufficient food to supply local households, restaurants and supermarkets with fresh produce that will serve as a catalyst for indigenous foods, menus and consumption.

The OEF Farm will offer programmes for residents of Eleuthera and encourage them to grow their own food and become active in the transformative nature of food sustainability for the island.

To learn more about OEF call 334-4700, email info@oneeleuthera.org, visit our website at www.oneeleuthera.org, or check us out on Facebook or Instagram.