It was a wet Wednesday morning when Roots & Shoots the educational arm of JGIS launched its Plant for Hope project. Who better to launch it then our eponymous founder, Dr Jane herself! A total of 45 teachers and 135 students who represent over 9 Roots & Shoots school groups to celebrate the event, and there was good turnout of the local Roots & Shoots community in Singapore.
With the support and facilitation from the National Parks, we adopted a plot of land in the newly opened Thomson Nature Park. 50 trees belonging to over 10 species of native trees were planted on that day. The selection of species was accomplished with specific aims in mind, and some of them are the food plants of our Raffles Banded Langurs (Presbytis femoralis). In addition, the reforestation of the area is our contribution to the reestablishment of native flora to that area. Our involvement extended beyond this significant event. Our Roots & Shoots groups will continue to monitor the growth of the trees we have planted. This will generate data for future replanting, thus help to conserve the species of trees we have planted.
As we waited for the arrival of Dr Jane Goodall, everyone was buzzing with excitement. Luckily the rain cleared just before her arrival!
Jane Goodall finally arrived, accompanied by applause from the participants. Our local langur researchers, Andie and Sabrina, explained their work and latest findings to Dr Jane Goodall.
Dr Jane gave a speech on her research and the importance she placed on tree planting. She reminded us about the importance of studying trees. It was only discovered recently that trees communicate with each other, so what else have we not discovered about trees?
In her address to the participants, the president of Jane Goodall Institute, Dr Andie Ang, explained how tree planting contributed to helping our local wildlife, which included the Raffles Banded langurs.
We had the privilege of accompanying Dr Jane to plant the first tree – a specimen of the local critically endangered tree Ailanthus integrifolia. Together with our partners from NParks and the Nature Society, we planted the tree with Dr Jane. Dr Jane kissed the newly planted tree as per her custom and everyone proceeded to plant the rest of the 50 trees.
Following the tree-planting program, Dr Jane was led by our JGIS and NParks committees on a tour of Thomson Nature Park. We had the privilege of learning about the Hainan village that was present in the area from former villagers. They related anecdotes on how village life was like in Thomson in early Singapore. Their stories kept us spellbound. Along the trial, Dr Jane Goodall spotted some of our local wildlife like the long-tail macaques.
Dr Jane ended her tour of Thomson Nature Park at the Langur Trail while the students who were involved in Roots & Shoots projects took a different walking trial. Everyone had a meaningful morning!
If your students wish to be a part of conserving nature, please get in touch with us!