The Forestry Department has announced that the seedling distribution period for National Tree Planting Day (Friday, October 2) will commence on September 23 and end on October 7.
Members of the public will be able to collect seedlings from three of the Forestry Department’s nurseries at Head Office, 173 Constant Spring Road in Kingston; Williamsfield in Manchester; and Moneague, St. Ann.
“National Tree Planting Day 2020 has come at an interesting time for the nation. We are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and we have chosen to focus on ‘Healthy Trees, Healthy You – Plant a Tree Today’, as the theme for the celebration. So, we will be doing distribution to our various customers and to members of the public. However, we have had to reduce our distribution time during the day, so the time period is from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays,” Senior Manager for Public Relations and Corporate Communications at the Forestry Department, Francine Black-Richards, told JIS News.
Persons are also being advised to come prepared to observe COVID-19 protocols when collecting seedlings.
“At our nurseries you will be required to wear a mask… you will be provided with a sanitiser; however, we encourage you to walk with yours, if you so wish. We will also have persons to assist with marshalling and crowd control to ensure persons are safe and standing socially distant while they wait to get through,” Mrs. Black Richards advised.
Individuals who visit the nurseries for free seedlings to plant will be allowed a maximum of 10 seedlings. For persons or groups that require larger amounts, an email must be sent to the Forestry Department prior to visiting a nursery.
“If you are doing a project or you want to collect to distribute in your community and you want large amounts, then we encourage you to write to our CEO and Conservator of Forests requesting the amount you require and from there we will process those orders. We would want it in writing so we can better track what happens to those seedlings after they’ve been distributed,” Mrs. Black-Richards said.
The Forestry Department will have on its website, www.forestry.gov.jm, information about the types of plants available at each nursery.
“In preparation for pickup, we will be posting some information about what is for sale and what is available at what nursery. We will also be posting some additional information about each species, so if you want to know how big it gets, how long it takes to mature, what the flower looks like, we are going to be posting all that information on our website,” Mrs. Black-Richards said.
So, in preparation we suggest that you visit our website, look at what is available, make your selection and have your backup, because we can’t hold selections, as it is a first-come, first-serve basis. However, if you have your list of what you want, then it makes the process go much faster when you come into the nursery as we will be able to write you up, provide the seedlings and have you out of there in very quick time,” she explained.
The Forestry Department has a wide selection of fruit and ornamental seedlings for outdoor planting, but also offers potted plants for those who would like to participate in National Tree Planting Day, but do not have an area to plant.