Microforests set to get bigger
More microforests are set to appear around the island as a Bermuda Zoological Society project to plant more trees and shrubs continues to grow.
While five microforests have already been established, it is hoped that another three will be planted before the end of the year.
“We are geared up to start working on new areas in the autumn planting season,” a BZS spokeswoman said.
“Our focus right now is selecting an additional three sites that will directly benefit the community around them."
The spokeswoman said those involved in the project have worked hard in the summer heat to keep the plots healthy and growing during the recent drought, and have worked with government departments to water the native plantings with water trucks.
Members of the team have also used drones to monitor the various plots, which will help them to analyse the coverage of native species inside the planted areas.
“We’ve been maintaining the health of the plants and monitoring their growth rates to build a database for each plot,” she said. “This will show the overall carbon sequestration as a result of our planting efforts.
“In between busy aqua camps, the BZS education team and BZS Micro Forest team have been developing a teaching segment of the project involving the technologies used for collecting micro forest data.”
The BZS spearheaded the microforest project, and with backing from the Department of Parks, using the Miyawaki method of planting a dense native and endemic forest in tight areas of land.
The Miyawaki method, developed by Akira Miyawaki, focuses on the use of trees and plants that would naturally grow in the area and work together to create a diverse, multilayered forest community.
The approach allows trees to be densely planted and, with proper ground preparation, grow significantly faster than conventionally grown trees.
The organisation has said it wants to expand the project across the island, fitting plants into backyards, school playgrounds, roadsides and public parks, with the areas becoming maintenance-free after three years.
Plots have been established near the Railway Trail bridge over North Shore Road in Smith’s, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo’s coastal walkway, the Warwick playground and Trunk Island, with a “mini-plot” at the Flatts dock.