On Saturday August 26th 2017 members of the Rotary Club of Gros Islet, Rotary Club of Gros Islet Satellite Club in the South and the Rotaract Club of Gros Islet joined forces with the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture to plant approximately 100 trees along the banks of the Errard River (also known as the Dennery River). 

The project is being carried out to help combat the soil erosion that is taking place at an alarming pace with many of the island’s rivers.  This is caused by the deforestation as a result of farmers clearing land to plant bananas too close to the river banks.  The objective is to plant trees in

the hope that the root systems will go deep enough to stabilize the river banks thereby reducing erosion that occurs after heavy rainfall.

We planted a variety of fruit trees which are known to have extensive root systems.  By so doing we hope to have a twofold beneficial outcome: first to stabilize the riverbank and reduce soil erosion, and second to provide fruit crops that the local population can derive economic benefit from when the trees produce fruit.  

Rotarian Jonathan and his wife Delia were pleased to plant a lime tree, which they dubbed "our" tree. They vow to return to the spot in the next two years, to check its progress. President Angela was very excited at the prospect of Rotary helping the environment.

After the work was ended, our new friends from the Forestry Department joined us for a picnic lunch creole style.  They guided us to the Sault Falls or Errard Falls as they are also known, where we set about roasting breadfruit, cooking up an amazing bouillon and barbequing chicken.  This combined with exquisite Avocado,  cucumber salad, and salt fish stew washed down with the odd Piton, Heineken or your choice of three local juices and coconut water, made for a truly amazing lunch.

By 2.30pm we were on our way home, suitably tired but with a sense that this is the beginning of something far more than we had set out to do.  We achieved our objective which was to honour our commitment to RI President Ian Riseley by planting at least one tree for every member of our club, in fact we surpassed our target by five times the number of trees.  We also and very importantly surpassed our stated objective of extending fellowship among members and others.  There are now five or six Forestry officers and as many journalists who appreciate the values of Rotarians.

We met the journalists who are in Saint Lucia to cover a local hotel, at the waterfalls as they were experiencing the fun of repelling down the falls.  When they got to where we had set up, in true Rotary spirit, we gave them food and drink while we let them know what we were up to.  As a PR exercise to tell the Rotary story, it is difficult to beat!

By unanimous consent the day was declared a resounding success.  Big thank you to PE Len for organizing and to all those who prepared food, cooked food and brought food and drink.  A very big thank you to the officers from the Forestry Department for being our guides and digging the holes for us to plant the trees.