The Forestry Department within the Ministry of Agriculture and GEF/UNDP Ridge to Reef Project announced the winners of their ‘Know Your Flora’ 4H Club Challenge on Wednesday, 28 June 2017 at the Morne Gazo Visitor Centre in St David.
Walking away with the 1st place plaque, a Spice-Island Plant Book, and Laptop were the 4H students from Woburn Methodist (in the Primary School category) and Grenada Christian Academy (in the Secondary School category) of the challenge.
The challenge sought to expose students to some of the flora that can be found in both coastal and upland forests in Grenada and Carriacou; help students learn ways to identify plants; and empower students to articulate the benefits and uses of plants.
For the challenge, the students were given a list with the scientific names of 10 plants. They were then required to state one common name of each plant, list three benefits of each plant, and capture an image of the leaf, bark, stem, and fruit/flower of each plant. It was mandatory for the students to be featured in at least one of the images. This, according to the coordinating team at the Forestry Department, helped to ensure that the images were actually captured by the students and their teacher(s).
The students and teachers noted that while the challenge was indeed ‘challenging’, it was a pleasurable learning experience for each of them. In fact, all participating clubs declared that the students enjoyed the field trips taken to locate the plants. While a total of 38 schools registered for the competition, only 13 submitted the final projects. Of those 13 schools, Grenada Christian Academy, who also received an award for the overall highest total, was the only Secondary School that completed the entire project. The 2nd and 3rd place packages set aside for the secondary schools were therefore given to the schools placing 4th and 5th in the primary school category.
Certificates were awarded to participating schools and their club teachers. Some schools also received awards in categories such as outstanding presentation, creative presentation, and earliest submission. Dover Government School received a token for registering with the smallest club and St Andrew’s Anglican Primary School received a token for registering with the largest club. Second place winners received a camera, a Spice Island Plant Book, and plaque while 3rd place winners received a tablet, a Spice Island Plant Book, and plaque.
Capturing the 2nd place prize were Harvey Vale Government School and St Theresa’s RC School, who both scored a total of 92.6%. The final 2 schools receiving awards were St Mary’s Roman Catholic School and Beaulieu RC School.
Yolande-Bain Horsford, Minister for Agriculture, Lands, Forestry & Fisheries expressed her satisfaction with the competition and praised the Forestry Department and GEF/UNDP Ridge to Reef Project for the overall challenge concept. She noted that the initiative was unique and presented students with a peculiar learning experience. She also commended the teachers and students for their dedicated efforts and commitment to the initiative that seeks to help students recognise the value and importance of our forests.
Joseph Noel, GEF/UNDP Ridge to Reef Project Officer, conveyed his satisfaction with the competition and also noted that the project is looking forward to funding a similar initiative with the clubs in the next academic year.