May 24, 2017
ST. CROIX, USVI – The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) Division of Agriculture, St. Croix District, partnered with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR), the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Cooperative Extension Services, and the Department of Agriculture to hold the first annual “Gardens in Our Schools Seminar” at UVI’s Albert Sheen Campus on Thursday, May 18.
“This collaboration between the Department of Education and other government agencies propelled agricultural endeavors forward in the Virgin Islands as we continue to expand our horizon,” said Velda Hendricks, VIDE’s director of agriculture, St. Croix district. “The successful seminar on the budding gardens in St. Croix schools was held to assess and encourage agricultural development throughout the islands.”
Seminar presenters included Kathlyn P. Worrell-George, DPNR Assistant Director for the Division of Environmental Protection; Stafford Crossman, an assistant director at UVI’s Cooperative Extension Services, and DPNR’s environmental specialists Kyle Davis, Nevlin Williams, and Leslie V. Leonard.
“As the proceedings of the seminar took place, the atmosphere was filled with essential questions and answers and much engagement from presenters and attendees,” Hendricks said.
Sessions included Integrated Pest Management in School Gardens, Pest Management Strategies for School Gardens, Pest Deterring Plants and Organic Fertilizers, and Workers’ Protection Standards, as guided by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Participants included agriculture teachers in public and parochial schools, as well as other school staff, nonprofit organizations, and various community institutions serving as advisors to the agricultural programs in the schools.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the agencies who aided in making this first agricultural professional development experience possible and the participants for making the seminar a very successful one,” Hendricks concluded.