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Island celebrates Earth Day with a slate of activities

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Environment Minister Sylvan Richards carried out plenty of spade work during the Island’s celebration of Earth Day yesterday.

For before planting a tree at a new nature reserve in Southampton yesterday evening, the Minister was on hand to do some more digging — planting a Bermuda cedar ‘Love Tree’ at Queen Elizabeth Park in Hamilton. And the sapling is set to thrive after being planted along with hundreds of love messages that had been written on biodegradable paper containing wild flower seeds. It is hoped that those seeds will flower at the base of the tree in the summer.

Yesterday’s ceremony was the culmination of a project that began in February, when a Garden of Love was created in the Washington Mall by Sousa’s Landscape Management as part of a fundraising campaign by the Bermuda Heart Foundation.

Visitors to the garden were encouraged to write messages on the heart-shaped pieces of paper before making a donation to the charity. Those messages were collected and planted alongside the tree yesterday.

A spokesman for the group said: “In the coming months it is hoped that the seeds from the paper will sprout a carpet of flowers around the Bermuda cedar. A plaque will be placed with the tree so that people will be aware of its meaning and all the heart felt messages that were planted with it.”

The plaque reads: “The Heart of Hamilton. Planted with the love messages of Bermuda.”

At yesterday’s ceremony, which was also attended by Hamilton Mayor Greame Outerbridge and Government MP Jeff Sousa, a minute’s silence was observed in honour of victims of last week’s the Boston bomb blasts.

In another event to mark Earth Day, students filmmakers last night presented their work at the Earth Day Student Video Film Festival at the Bermuda College. Twelve shorts, exploring the question “What should we be doing differently to save the Earth” were shown at the festival, which was organised by the Bermuda National Trust and Greenrock.

Middle and High School students were asked to make a video of no more than four minutes exploring ways in which the world needs to change to make it environmentally sustainable.

Greenrock President Judith Landsberg said: “We hear constantly about how bad things are for our planet. If things are going to change then our young people are the ones to make it happen.

“We think the health of the planet is important, but it is even more important to our children and students — they have to live with the consequences of our decisions. This is an opportunity to hear from them and hear their ideas.”

Following last night’s screening, which involved the work of 35 students, first prize went to Lindsey and Alex Cash of BHS for their video ‘Water’. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9OL1zbfRkQ

Second prize went to Diamond Dill, Rodrigo Guerreiro and Liliana Moniz of Dellwood for ‘Go Green Bermuda.

Joint third prize went to Dellwood students Naisari Roberts, Keshun Butterfield, Kayla Carpenter, Jalair Trott- Richardson, Syldesha Dill-Baker, Kyah Fox, Javontae Duhart and Khyan Bagley-Pearman for their video ‘Planting To Make A Change’. http://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=v8N7dzcGPtk&ns=1

The other third place prize-winning team was Warwick Academy students Gabriela Rosati and Sara Vallis for their video ‘Change A Regular Day’. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy7FrQt03cE

“We saw a wide range of themes from whale conservation to respecting other people, but it was interesting that many of the videos focus on waste, trash and recycling,” Ms Landsberg said.

“Kids have really got the message about waste, and when they take the message home to their friends and families, this is how change starts to happen.”

Photo by Glenn Tucker Washington Mall General Manager Paul Slaughter, One Bermuda Alliance Parliamentarian Jeff Sousa, Minister of Environment Sylvan Richards, Bermuda Heart Foundation CEO Simone Barton and Hamilton Mayor Graeme Outerbridge plant a cedar tree in Queen Elizabeth Park off Queen Street yesterday. Buried under the tree are messages that were written on heart-shaped paper for the Heart Foundation's Washington Mall 'love tree' for shoppers who made a donation.
National Trust education officer Dorte Horsefield, and general manager of Dolphin Quest Bermuda Christine Mihelcic present the 1st place prize to Lindsay Cash for her and her sister Alex Cash's video entitled Water. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published April 23, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 22, 2013 at 11:14 pm)

Island celebrates Earth Day with a slate of activities

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