On June 5th every year, the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations and thousands of global communities and organizations celebrate World Environment Day.
This year, the theme of the Day is “Beat plastic pollution” – a call for action for the world to work together to address one of the great environmental challenges of our time and raise global awareness of the need to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on people’s health and the threat it poses to the environment and wildlife.
Through on-going projects, BEST and Darwin, the Turks & Caicos National Trust (TCNT) sponsored a trip to Half Moon Bay and Little Water Cay to celebrate World Environment Day.
A group of students from Long Bay High School, along with some teachers, participated. These students had initially been surveyed by TCNT’s Public Awareness Officer in February to gauge their knowledge of the dangers facing our Rock Iguanas. These students will be surveyed again at the end of the project in 2020, to complete the education component of the project.
The excursion gave students the opportunity to learn about iguanas’ habitat first-hand and taught them the importance of keeping it clean.
Students were urged to be more responsible in managing garbage since waste, particularly plastic, can be devastating to marine biodiversity.
More importantly, the tour exposed students to the detriment to the health and well-being of the iguanas caused by plastic products and trash being left behind by humans who visit their homes. In fact, the group was able to collect a few plastic products within the vicinity.
During this trip, students also learned how to do bead tagging – a strategy used by scientists, to keep track of the population, study their life span and monitor their health. The on-going rat eradication project on the Cay was also discussed.
Half Moon Bay is a vulnerable domicile for the Rock Iguanas as it is a popular location for locals to have beach cook-out and tour companies to take guests to relax, have beach parties and see iguanas.
The Turks & Caicos National Trust continues to seek more support towards conservation plans though funding and donations, and appeals to tour operators and stakeholders to be partners in the stewardship of this area.
To help save our iguanas, their habitat and combat plastic pollution, support the Turks & Caicos National Trust. Call (649) 941-5710 or email email@example.com, for more information.
The Turks and Caicos National Trust has received a donation of $5,000.00 towards bird conservation in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The donation was made by Mrs. Patricia Bradley, widow of former TCI Governor Michael Bradley who served as head of state from 1986 – 1993.
The funds are earmarked to underwrite costs for production of informative materials that would promote bird conservation through the work of the National Trust.
Mrs. Bradley is an avid ornithologist and has authored articles and books on birding, one being the Official Bird Checklist of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Being part of the global conservation movement, the National Trust engages in various exercises along with international and national scientists to promote bird conservation education, such as species count and habitat monitoring.
The Trust is very grateful for this gift from Mrs. Bradley and has identified the Bird Rock Point Heritage Fields as the point of focus for the upcoming project. Bird Rock Point is habitat for nesting White-Tailed Tropic Birds and feeding grounds for many other species such as black-necked stilts, reddish egrets, white-cheeked pintails, green herons, lesser yellowlegs and much more.
For more information about our conservation efforts at Bird Rock Point, please contact the Turks & Caicos National Trust at (649) 941-5710 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Turks & Caicos National Trust led students and volunteers in clearing Five Cays beach area of trash and debris to celebrate the International Day of Biodiversity on May 22nd.
Being part of the global community, the Turks and Caicos Islands perpetually joins with countries of the world in celebrating the variety of life on earth, called ‘biodiversity.’
Students from Enid Capron Primary School, community volunteers and staff of the Turks & Caicos National Trust collected two dozen of large trash bags during the morning clean-up at the beach. Everybody was attuned to cleaning the coastal areas from marine debris that harm our marine life and ecosystems.
As expressed by the National Trust Education and Outreach Manager, Dellareese Higgs, “We thought it fitting to choose an event that would immerse students in an action packed lesson where they learn how they too, can become stewards of a global community, by keeping the environment and their communities clean for the most vulnerable species that share the planet.”
Teachers at the Enid Capron Primary praised the effort and were happy to oblige the Trust as they saw the opportunity to engage students while still very young, to develop in them a call for action, so that they know that they have a responsibility to the environment.
As stated by 5th grade teacher, Ancie Bernadine, “This event today, cleaning the beach, such a small task, but so important for students to learn about and protect the coastal communities where they live. I am so happy that my class was chosen, as the majority of them use this beach. Hopefully as they remove some of the plastic bags, bottles and other trash from the beach, they will remember to keep the beach clean, and will continue to protect our plants, animals and marine life for future generations.”
The day’s event marks the 25th year since this global celebration began in 1993.
For this silver anniversary, the United Nations Secretariat chose the theme of this year’s observance – “Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity.”
In full support, the National Trust will sponsor similar upcoming events to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues amongst communities in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
The Turks and Caicos National Trust (TCNT), under its mandate, will continue to champion the goals of protecting, conserving, and preserving our wildlife and historical sites, through education and narrative designed to harness the best efforts, and teaching opportunities, and with much persistence and dedication for the benefit of all.
Members of the community from various sectors converged at Cheshire Hall Plantation on Friday, April 20th, 2018, to plant trees and support environmental goals that address our planet’s environmental challenges.
The tree-planting event was sponsored by Beaches Turks & Caicos and was hosted by the Turks & Caicos National Trust, in collaboration with students and teachers of Clement Howell High School’s Environmental Club, and DECR’s Pine Recovery Project Manager Bryan Manco.
The above-mentioned activity was a follow-up to an Earth Day 100 Trees Initiative which started in 2016, initiated by Beaches Turks & Caicos, through Public Relations Manager Elanor Finfin Krzakowski and TCNT’s Executive Director, Ethlyn Gibbs-Williams.
The National Trust was grateful to receive the gift of trees as the site has lost 30% of its trees as a result of the devastating effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Approximately two dozen native trees were added to the Cheshire Hall Plantation landscape, including four (4) Caribbean Caicos Pine saplings.
Caicos Pine is an endemic tree, regarded as the National Tree of the Turks & Caicos Islands, and is an important part of the country’s ecosystem. A recovery project is currently underway.
The Turks & Caicos National Trust is an ardent supporter of environmental protection and advocates for safeguarding the country’s natural heritage. This Earth Day tree planting exercise will certainly encourage the efforts of the National Trust in propagating native plants in the nursery at the historical site.
Earth Day, or the International Day for Mother Earth, is the largest civic day in the world that promotes the importance of trees and keeping the earth clean and green.
Trees have a very important role in absorbing carbon, cleaning and cooling the air; stabilizing soils; recycling nutrients for agriculture and supporting habitats for wildlife - just a few of their gifts to humanity.
Let’s keep planting trees!
We've been nominated!
Cheshire Hall Plantation: Best Caribbean Attraction
Turks & Caicos National Trust wins CTO’s Heritage Protection Award
The Turks & Caicos National Trust won a major regional award - the Heritage Protection Award - at the recently concluded 2017 Caribbean Sustainable Awards, hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) during the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum. The award ceremony was held at the Ocean Terrace Inn, St. Kitts & Nevis on Wednesday, 13th December 2017.
The Turks & Caicos National Trust received the highest award for Heritage Protection for making significant contributions to protect and promote the heritage (cultural, built, natural, and intangible) of the Turks & Caicos Islands. The National Trust was recognized for its contribution to heritage protection through the following initiatives:
~ Efforts to pass on cultural and intangible heritage traditions and skills to younger generations
~ Documentation and/or copyrighting of local heritage related materials
~ Educating visitors on local heritage and local stakeholders, including the media
~ Sustainable financing of local heritage conservation
~ Engagement of local communities, public, NGO and/or private sector entities in preserving and promoting local heritage
~ Communicating actions to local stakeholders, including the media
The award is a vindication of the 25 years of hard work that the Turks & Caicos National Trust has been putting in, such as implementing good management practice with relatively limited resources, strong local community participation in the conservation and management of TCI’s heritage sites, and the development of unique multi-faceted conservation schemes – all for the protection of the country’s valuable heritage.
The Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards are aimed at identifying and showcasing Sustainable Tourism Good Practices in the Caribbean. The awards recognize individuals, groups, organizations or companies in any of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Member Countries which have developed responsible and unique tourism products or are engaged in implementing sustainable tourism-related initiatives which embrace sustainable tourism concepts and core values.
The awards were judged by a committee comprising of a panel of experts selected by CTO, representing various sectors of the tourism industry at the national, regional and international levels.
The Turks & Caicos National Trust wishes to thank the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board for their support throughout the years, as well as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) for their partnership and encouragement in the work of heritage preservation. The organization looks forward to the continued support of the Turks & Caicos Government to further strengthen the efforts of heritage protection, preservation and promotion.
The Trust proudly shares this prestigious international award with the people of the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Great Opportunity to visit Heritage Sites!
To celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity this year, the Turks & Caicos National Trust is announcing FREE ADMISSION to visit heritage sites on Providenciales, North Caicos and Middle Caicos from May 22nd to 26th, 2017 if you are a resident of these islands.
Under the global theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism”, the Trust aims to enhance people’s awareness at protecting our cultural, historic and natural heritage by encouraging locals and residents to take a tour, free of charge, to Little Water Cay, more popularly known as “Iguana Island”, Cheshire Hall Plantation and Bird Rock Point on Providenciales, Wade’s Green Plantation on North Caicos, and Conch Bar Caves on Middle Caicos.
Biodiversity provides an important foundation for many aspects of tourism. Recognition of the great importance to tourism economies of attractive landscapes and a rich biodiversity underpins the political and economic case for biodiversity conservation. The Turks & Caicos National Trust supports contributing significantly to reducing threats to, and maintain or increase, key wildlife populations and biodiversity values through tourism revenue.
Furthermore, establishing the free admission week shows the high importance the National Trust attaches to the protection of TCI’s heritage for its people and its future generation.
To book a free tour to TCNT-managed sites during Biodiversity Week, please call (649) 941-5710 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. Prior arrangement will help us handle tour times more efficiently and ensure availability of our staff to assist you.
As we approach the Christmas holidays, we at the Turks & Caicos National Trust, wants to wish everyone the joyous holiday ahead. This will be a great time to bring your friends and family to our heritage sites for a unique Turks & Caicos experience.
OUR HOLIDAY HOURS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Little Water Cay
Open every day, 09.00 am to 5.00 pm
Cheshire Hall Plantation
Open on December 26th (Monday), December 27th (Tuesday) and Jan. 2nd (Monday)
08.30 am to 11.30 am and 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm
The reception and shop are open from 08.30 am to 4.30 pm
Closed on Saturday & Sunday
Wades Green Plantation (North Caicos)
Open on December 26th (Monday), December 27th (Tuesday) and Jan. 2nd (Monday)
9:30am-11:30am & 2:30pm-4:00pm
Saturday tours by appointment (call 232-6284)
Closed on Sunday
Conch Bar Caves
Saturday tours by appointment (call 247-3157)
Happy Holidays to all and thank you for the support throughout the year.
Open to children 7 to 11 years of age
The Children's Environmental and Cultural Summer Camp will be held from August 8 to 13, 2016, from 9 am to 2 pm.
We have designed different activities for each day. Venues differ as well.
August 8 - Orientation
Sessions: Native dishes - cultural background and cooking
August 9 - Sessions: Cultural Exploration - artifact finding, history, drawing & painting, heritage site tour
(venue: Cheshire Hall Plantation)
August 10 - Sessions: Environmental theme - lectures & presentations, art & craft, film showing
(venue: Caravel Restaurant at Grace Bay Court)
August 11 - Field Trip Day "Tourist for a Day" - bus ride (hop in and out) exploring tourist spot and places
(meeting place: Town Centre Mall)
August 12 - Session: Beach time, fun time
(venue: Shore Club beach access)
August 13 - Parents Day & Open House - parents get to see what we have done for the week, display their
art work, tell stories about the camp experience, giving of certificates, etc.
(venue: National Trust Office, Town Centre Mall)
ONLY $75.00 for the whole week! Field trip, camp materials & lunch included!
*Registration fee also includes free Junior Membership/ Registration Forms available now.
FOR INQURIES & REGISTRATION CALL THE NATIONAL TRUST OFFICE AT (649) 941-5710 OR SEND AN E-MAIL TO firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Radford, Senior UK Overseas Territories Officer with the Royal Society of the Protection of Birds, talks about her recent visit to the Turks and Caicos Islands where RSPB is working with local partners on site conservation.
It was an overcast day in May when I climbed into a little motor boat and bounced across the insanely blue water from Providenciales to Little Water Cay – known locally as ‘Iguana Island’. Iguana Island is one of TCI’s premier nature attractions for visitors and a global biodiversity hotspot. It is managed by the National Trust of TCI, thus I was accompanied by the Trust’s Director Ms Gibbs-Williams and two of the island’s wardens, Elliott and Caldrin.
On arrival at the dock it’s quickly apparent why the island is so special; within seconds (literally) we spotted the stately Rock Iguanas (Cyclura carinata) basking in the sun in the gaps in dense native vegetation and even on the boardwalk. Rock Iguanas eat fruits of native vegetation (such as sea grape) and are critically threatened by rats and feral cats which eat their eggs and attack young. They are only found in TCI and one island in the Bahamas. RSPB is helping the National Trust undertake a programme of rat control to help safeguard the iguanas which began last November, as we walked around the island the Wardens were able to show me evidence of increasing numbers of small iguanas and two species of birds nesting on the ground where they had not seen this before on the island; a young Antillean Nighthawk and several Least Terns on the adjacent beach known as Half Moon Bay. These new sightings suggest the rat control is working and the iguanas (and birds) are recovering. The Wardens are ready to undertake more rat control with RSPB later this year and ongoing management will ensure rat populations don’t get out of control again. The problem of feral cats remains, they are an even greater threat to the iguanas than rats, and the next challenge to tackle to secure the iguana’s future.
A few days later I took the ferry to North Caicos and met Mrs Alveria Duncombe (TCI National Trust) and B. Naqqi Manco (DECR), who would guide me around another site managed by the National Trust, known as Wade’s Green Plantation. Wade’s Green is the Caribbean’s best surviving Loyalist Plantation (1798-1812), and also home to TCI’s finest example of dry tropical forest. I had missed the Plantation on a previous trip to North Caicos so was full of anticipation as we walked up the original ‘Kings Road’ bordered by 200 year old dry stone walls leading to the heart of the old settlement. I was not disappointed.
Immediately we glimpsed shy Key West Quail Doves and heard calls of two rarer Caribbean birds: a Pearly-eyed Thrasher and a Thick-billed Vireo. The torrential tropical downpour added to the atmosphere as we explored the various plantation buildings, some now fused together with trees. Mrs Alveria and Naqqi provided fascinating historical facts about each building and insights into the lives of those who lived on the plantation. The heritage and nature fascinated me in equal measure, from ship graffiti drawn by the slaves on the kitchen wall, to the tiny creamy egg we found in the wall of the old storehouse belonging to the Caicos Barking Gecko which now makes its home in the nooks and crannies of this building. Most of all I enjoyed exploring the roads beyond the main settlement, including the well at the crossroads and the old slave quarters hidden deep within what I was now calling ‘the enchanted forest’.
The RSPB will be helping the Trust manage and improve this wonderful site in the coming year, with the aim of both safeguarding the site and fulfilling its potential as a premier visitor attraction for TCI.
At the end of the week a more intrepid adventure was in store. Long time RSPB supporters Nick and Sarah Sherwin invited me on a trip to TCI’s last wilderness; the uninhabited remote island of East Caicos. The mosaics of terrestrial and mixed habitats there are the best examples in the Caribbean and are home to many special plant and animal species. At least six species are found only in TCI and over 20 species found only in the ‘Lucayan Peninsula’ – meaning the Bahamas and TCI together.
Mark Parrish and Kathleen Wood (experts on the geography and biodiversity of East Caicos) were our guides on this trip, and my adrenalin was certainly high as we waded ashore through the gloopy estuarine mud and sand. We had already spotted a green turtle and a large stingray in the reef and some agitated Royal terns met our arrival onshore. This is no easy relaxed Caribbean island, a quick change to cover up against the hungry mosquitoes and we started off through the buttonwood and mangroves to the dense native bush, at times using a machete to open up the route. We walked the line of the old railway carefully avoiding the needle like Sisal spikes and poisonous Manchineel trees. The railway was built in the late 1800s to allow the removal of bat guano harvested from the caves for fertiliser, as well as the Sisal plants introduced and grown for fibre for ropes and twine. Both were short lived industries.
Finally we reached the extensive cave systems where we were shown extraordinary petroglyphs; 500 year old carvings on the cave walls made by Taino Indians. As we moved through the darkness a barn owl silently swooped through the cave above our heads, a magnificent moment.
Later as we returned to Providenciales by boat we were joined fleetingly by a pod of leaping spotted dolphins – a fitting end to the day. It occurred to me that each time I visit TCI I lift another layer on the natural beauty of this Territory. The tropical paradise of sandy beaches and turquoise seas lauded in the holiday brochures is only the shiny surface, beneath lies a natural and cultural heritage that is a great deal more intriguing, beautiful and unique than this simple picture. Those in TCI who are charged with the task of sustaining and protecting this heritage face a difficult and enormous task, one that deserves all our support as it is immensely important, not only for TCI but for the planet too.
Copyright: Turks and Caicos National Trust (1992-2016)P.O.Box 540, #50 Salt Mills Plaza, Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands. Tel: (649) 941 5710 Fax: (649) 941 4258 E-Mail: email@example.com