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Resounding success for Plant a Seed Day

By Annabelle Mor-Codali, President of the Gibraltar Horticultural Society

When I stumbled across an article on Plant a Seed Day on social media, it got me thinking that this might just be the idea that could engage the community to spread the message in the very real need to make Gibraltar Greener. What started as a small idea turned into a much larger one largely due to the amazing response from the public and companies. Therefore, with my co-host Elizabeth Elluo Chaura the Education Officer from the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens we found ourselves immersed in preparations for what was a first for the Gibraltar Horticultural Society in hosting a community day.

Plant a Seed Day has now become a yearly global movement that was started by Big Green, a big environmental company in the USA and founded by Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson in 2011. Its aim is to rally children, families and communities to grow real food at home and in schools across the world. They also pledge thousands of dollars to help schools, horticultural societies and charities to further their work.

Although the campaign originally was spearheaded for the USA it gradually started to grow globally. In 2022, 241,095 people from Texas, USA to Sydney, Australia planted billions of seeds for #plantaseedday! I was so impressed with the message and how different communities tailored the event, I decided Gibraltar could do the same and we could add our own message to organize a planting event in our homes, schools, and community to gather loved ones around the beautiful act of helping life to thrive in our ever-growing concrete society.

So, we invited the public to come and enjoy a fun-filled morning at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens and get their hands dirty and learn all about gardening and the joy of planting seeds as well as explore the beautiful gardens, participate in interactive activities including garden tours, art tables and a variety of stalls.

We invited the schools to join the plant party and be part of the movement to promote the slogan “Together we can make Gibraltar greener, one seed at a time” as now more schools have outdoor gardening areas and we are able to help them both through the Education project at The Gibraltar Botanic Gardens and by the Gibraltar Horticultural Society by providing resources or advice.

Dr John Cortes, Minister for education, environment and transport, plus shadow minister Mr John Edwin were shown round the event and they had the opportunity to talk to the business entities and the public. Miss Gibraltar Faith Torres was also present and engaged with the children and public alike. The Lions Club provided numerous options for drinks, cakes and Gibraltarian staples like torta acelga and calentita. This were enjoyed by all the visitors to the event but also by the volunteers.

The movie characters were brought to life by Aaron Caballero as a most impressive Praetorian Guard, Richard Harman as Thor, Rebecca Freeth as Jedi and Rosemary Freeth as Fennec Shand. The children and adult all had fun by taking photos with them and they created a buzz as only such characters can. We would also like to thank Ideal Productions for supporting us with Mrs Gibraltar and Mrs Classical.

Supporting this initiative was EGears, Gibraltar Lions Club, EBikes, Interbuild Ltd, Sustainabuild, Bassadone Motors, Rotary and MetalRok. Not only do they help raise green awareness in our community but help further gardening projects in Gibraltar as well as backing the Alameda Gardens Educational Project. We need to see more companies supporting sustainable developments and initiatives which are currently considered vital benchmarks of personal and cooperate responsibility globally.

I also want to thank all the volunteers of the Gibraltar Horticultural Society and The Gibraltar Botanic Gardens for a lovely morning and to Keith Bensusan, Director of The Gibraltar Botanic Gardens for allowing us to host the event.

Gardening, whether in a patch in a garden or just keeping pots in our house or outside our front door, is to express our love, care and nurture and if you haven’t started yet I urge you do it, it will give you immense pleasure and soothes our minds!

Not only will you be helping yourself from your busy lifestyles by disconnecting your mind but you will be adding beauty to your surroundings.

For any further information or sponsoring our gardening projects including ‘Grow your own Campaign’ within our schools and the community please contact us via our email or alternatively call me on 54004737.

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