Abaco boasts a wide variety of plants, animals, and other living things. This is our biological diversity or “biodiversity” for short. Unfortunately, our biodiversity is currently under threat from habitat destruction and invasive species. And, as our health is directly related to the health of the environment, that means we are also under threat.
To help protect Abaco’s biodiversity, Friends of the Environment has started a project called “Go Native!”. This project supports the planting of native plants for landscaping and encourages businesses and homeowners to remove invasive plants and replace them with natives. In addition to affecting biodiversity and taking over native habitat, some invasive plants, such as Casuarina, also accelerate erosion.
To join the Go Native program, all you have to do is send us a photo of you removing Hawaiian seagrape (and other invasive plants) from your property. We will then give you some native plants to help you get started, and a cool sign that says “Gone Native!” to show your participation. We’ll share the photo on our website and Facebook page to help encourage others to participate.
The first business participant of the Go Native program is The Abaco Inn on Elbow Cay. In an effort to improve the grounds, manager Tom Hazel has removed 60 truckloads of Hawaiian seagrape! This is an impressive commitment to the environment, for which we applaud The Abaco Inn. FRIENDS looks forward to further partnership with The Abaco Inn and other businesses to help Abaco’s environment by planting native.
If you, your business or place of employment would like to help Abaco’s environment by “Going Native!”, please contact Friends of the Environment or visit our website for more information. This project is supported by the GEF Small Grants Programme (http://www.sgpbahamas.org/).