New year, new projects! Since 2003, the Sea & Learn Foundation (SLF) has championed for environmental awareness and educational outreach on Saba. Our October program, Sea & Learn, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, while our Youth Environmental Leadership Program (YELP) has also gained momentum with future marine biologists. Now, we have even more in store for 2024!
In 2020, the Netherlands launched the Nature and Environment Policy Plan (NEPP). One of the target goals of NEPP is to "create awareness through education and training". BINGO!
Naturally, we set to work brainstorming BIGGER ideas (as well as finding an additional person to help us execute them) to appease the NEPP gods. After months of deliberation, we came up with a game plan that included activities to support NEPP topics such as waste management, agriculture and healthy living, erosion, reforestation, coral restoration, and nature conservation.
As the target group for SLF is the entire Saba community (K thru grey), naturally there will be events for people of all ages to enjoy. Over the next two years, SLF will organize various workshops including how to grow your own microgreens, how to compost, how to make raised garden beds, etc. Additionally, there will be public tree planting days and food fests in collaboration with Saba's reforestation programs.
Many of our activities will focus on children as they are the future! SLF aims to start a garden club with after school care programs to teach kids basic gardening and cooking skills. Kids will be responsible for caring for planter boxes, which will be installed on top of a select Adopt-A-Box meter walls (pictured above). Planter boxes may include herbs, flowers or vegetables that can be used by people in the surrounding area to promote healthier eating habits while further beautifying the neighborhood.
Our superstars will be 6th graders from Sacred Heart Primary School. SLF is working closely with teacher Marijke to supplement her in-class curriculum. Each month the students will focus on one of the NEPP themes and engage in hands-on science. Because we love puns (who doesn't?!), we have named this program "Science SEAkers".
In January, the Science SEAkers concentrated on waste management. They began with a tour of Saba's fantastic Waste Management Facility. In addition to learning about how various items are separated and prepped for export, they also practiced their driving skills with a front end loader ;) They then collected over 600 pieces (150 lbs.) of trash along the Fort Bay road! Their last task of the month, under the guidance of Boomerang's Debbie Verdult, was to create animals out of the some of the garbage they collected. The kids worked together in groups to sketch and construct an animal that can be affected by plastic pollution. Next month they tackle agriculture and healthy living! Connect with Sea & Learn on social media (Instagram and Facebook) to stay up to date with all the latest NEPP-related happenings and how you can get involved!
These educational activities are supported by the Nature and Environment Policy Plan (NEPP) as part of the Public Entity’s aim to increase awareness among the community and to support more environmentally friendly and sustainable practices.