Campaign To Make Island A “Living Classroom”

October 23, 2015

The Bermuda Zoological Society [BZS] has been focused on their ongoing campaign for education on Trunk Island in Harrington Sound, with the BZS aiming to provide classes that utilize the island as a “living classroom” to some 3,000 students.

“The campaign has surpassed the halfway goal, and there are high hopes to reach the 75% of the total goal in the coming months. This success is solely due to the support of our many generous donors,” the BZS said.

“As such, the BZS would like to acknowledge the leadership gifts and support of AXIS and the Butterfield family towards the campaign of Trunk Island Education.

“With Nonsuch Island already established as the most important site in Bermuda for the conservation of rare and threatened species and habitats, the intention is to create a similar environment on Trunk Island and have an interactive space for the BZS education team to conduct their classes.”

“The Butterfield family are proud to support the BZS in its campaign of Trunk Island Education,” said Jim Butterfield, CEO of Butterfield & Vallis.

“Being able to give students the opportunity to physically engage in nature and discover the importance of our fragile environment is imperative to Bermuda’s ecological future.”

Trunk Island Bermuda October 2015

“Knowing that BZS is not only committed to conserving Bermuda’s natural environment, but to also educating future generations on the importance of preserving their home, was a major factor when we decided to donate to the campaign” said Albert Benchimol, CEO of AXIS.

“We are pleased that the island will be transformed into a sanctuary for Bermuda’s wildlife, similar to Nonsuch Island, and in doing so create a permanent living classroom for Bermuda’s future environmentalists.”

The aim of the campaign is to both insure that Trunk Island’s natural flora and fauna is restored and preserved, as well as creating a hands-on approach to communicating conservation to students and future stewards of the environment.

“Trunk Island is the perfect way to engage students of all ages,” said Dr. Jamie Bacon, the BZS Education Officer.

“Being able to get them out of the classroom and onto the island gives the students a physical way to experience the principles of Biology. This connection to nature is something they just don’t get in a classroom.

Slideshow of Trunk Island from June of this year:

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Dr. Bacon added, “Harrington Sound is a biologically diverse area, and by having access to Trunk Island’s small cottage, BZS will be able to provide camps, classes, wild weekend encounters and many other activities for students, adults and families to learn about Bermuda’s natural resources and have fun at the same time.””

Using Dr. David Wingate’s conservation plan as a guide, the BZS has been able to gain considerable momentum in the restoration of the island.

Under the direction of Colin Brown, the Chairman of the BZS Trunk Island committee, Weekend Warrior volunteers have dedicated 520 hours on the island this year.

Additionally, the donation of ‘corporate giving’ days has seen 9 companies send a total of 250 of their employees to donate a whopping 1,335 hours on island.

Mr. Butterfield decided to take further initiative and took it upon himself organize a group of volunteers to completely eradicate Casuarina trees from Rabbit Island, which neighbours Trunk Island. This process would prevent the re-population of the invasive species on Trunk Island.

Dr. Wingate confirmed that “Trunk Island has great potential for restoration as another ‘Living Museum’ nature reserve, along the lines of Nonsuch Island.”

He also added that “the Weekend Warrior programme is vital to ensuring that the eradication of invasive species, such as the Casuarina tree and Chinese fan palm, is managed, as it is one of the top priorities of the plan.

“Without the dedication and support of volunteers, we would find it very difficult to reach the ultimate goal of returning the island to its native and endemic environment.”

Bermuda Zoological Society is the major support charity for Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo.

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Comments (6)

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  1. paperboy says:

    Encouraging to see such an exciting programme for all Bermudians and to have such solid and reputable financial supporters involved. This looks like the best kind of Eco-School possible for our young people. I hope the campaign succeeds and this classroom thrives.

    • Terry says:

      Do we always need “reputable financial supporters” ?

      Just another tax reduction

      Negative am I?

      Bite me.

  2. Terry says:

    Ok.
    Don’t bite to hard folks. Who owns Trunk Island.
    Just a question.

    • 32n64w says:

      I believe BZS have purchased the land and are now raising funds to close on the contract.

      • Terry says:

        Thank you.
        But it must have cost/going to millions and millions of dollars.

        Bought an island lately 32?

  3. Absolutely fantastic, “a living classroom” is a plus…