Hundreds participate in Forest Trek 2012
The Forestry Department’s second staging of Forest Trek 2012 was a resounding success with more than 600 persons turning out to participate in the 12 km hike to and from the Cinchona Botanical Gardens in the Blue Mountains.
This year’s staging of the event had a truly international flavor with participants hailing from Asia, North America, Central America, Europe and the Caribbean.
The hike, which was the held on Saturday, April 21, the day before Earth Day, sought to raise public awareness about the state of the forest resources in Jamaica. Hikers were able to get first hand views of hillsides being replanted by the Agency as well see some of the challenges that the Agency experiences in executing its duties.
Hikers began the challenge at St. Peter’s in St. Andrew walking to the Cinchona Botanical Gardens, 5000 feet above sea level. They then made the return journey to the Clydesdale Forest Reserve which was 5 km from Cinchona.
More than 300 trees were planted by the hikers at the end of the first leg, before they had lunch, explored the gardens and relaxed and enjoy the majestic views.
“We are pleased at the success of this hike. We had overwhelming interest and we hope next year to take the hikers to another interesting spot within our forests,” Marilyn Headley, CEO& Conservator of Forests at the Forestry Department said.
Among the experiences most valued by the hikers were the wonderful forest views and the clean air. “I enjoyed the company of friends and even strangers who forged a bond to make it to the top of the mountain. It was good to hear people motivating each other to continue the journey and I absolutely loved the view!” was the feedback from one hiker.