LOM’s $50,000 will help Trunk Island project
A “living classroom” project on Trunk Island, in Harrington Sound, is being supported by LOM Financial, which has committed to donating $50,000 to the Bermuda Zoological Society during the next five years.
Scott Lines, chief executive officer of the financial services company, said: “Through making this gift, LOM is pleased to support BZS’s vision for a ‘living classroom’ at Trunk Island that will not only give all children a true experience of Bermudian living, but also educate them on our island’s diverse and rich ecosystem.
“Immersive education experiences like this help to inspire our youth and foster a sincere interest in Bermuda’s natural environment.”
BZS is the support charity for the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo and funds public outreach and education programmes for children and adults.
With approximately 6,000 experiences from the education programmes each year, students are encouraged to become advocates for conservation.
LOM’s donation will specifically help to support BZS with its educational outreach and conservation training centre on Trunk Island.
Ian Walker, principal curator, said: “BAMZ’s goal is to have every single upper primary and middle school student come to the island for an educational programme. We want to give every child a chance to enjoy and learn about this incredible place and hopefully develop a keen interest in our natural environment.
“The Trunk Island programme allows students to see Bermuda in a way that they haven’t seen it before. Our hope is that those students who go on to pursue related fields eventually come back to Bermuda and assist with research that is valuable to the community.”
Student Miguel Mejias has experienced the BAMZ and BZS educational system from the age of 14. He went on to complete a master’s in the breeding biology and migration of longtails. He is now pursuing a PhD in ornithology, concentrating on song birds, at Memorial University in Newfoundland.
Reflecting on his experience at BAMZ, Mr Mejias said: “I started there as a shy, yet clownish schoolboy who didn’t know much about anything, except that I loved animals. It was at BAMZ where I truly started to learn how to make meaningful connections with both people and animals. And when the staff at BAMZ get whiff of a budding young environmentalist or conservationist, they run with it! They pool lots of resources into making sure those passionate individuals are given the tools they need to succeed, and I am for ever grateful for that.”
Dr Walker added: “We are hoping to find Bermuda’s next environmentalists who will champion these causes as David Wingate and Jeremy Madeiros have. So programmes like the one at Trunk Island are vital in sparking an interest in our natural environment from an early age.
“For this reason we are so thankful to LOM for their valuable contribution to BZS and look forward to the continued development of the living classroom at Trunk Island.”
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