Deep Creek Middle School became the first site and partner school of the Leon Levy Preserve’s Native Tree Adoption Program. In early May staff of the Levy Preserve travelled south to the campus for a tree planting exercise with DCMS staff and students.
The Program focuses on engaging schools across Eleuthera (and eventually throughout The Bahamas) in native plant conservation and broadening the students’ knowledge of native plants. Each school has the opportunity to “adopt” a native tree which will serve as its signature species. The addition of native trees to the campus creates a resource for teachers to demonstrate fundamental science concepts, as well as make connections across multiple disciplines. The trees enhance the school’s campus aesthetic and strengthen the associations between schools, national parks, and plants.
DCMS students were given a presentation on the program and the chosen species by Education Officer Courtney Kemp before being led outdoors where they helped prep the site, dug holes and aerated the soil, transferred plants from pot to soil and created decorative rock borders. A number of ‘Sarah’s Toes’ (Peltophorum adnatum) were planted near the entrance to the campus. The species, a member of the legume family, is known by its attractive yellow flowers and reddish brown fruit. Guiding the planting exercises were Dr. Ethan Freid and Omar McKlewhite from the Levy Preserve. The Preserve summer interns also volunteered with the project.