Press Release

Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports
Recreation Trust
Release Date:
Friday, 4 November 2022 - 4:50pm

 This November marks 69 years of Arbour Day celebrations in The Virgin Islands. The first Arbour Day celebration was held in 1953, when J. R. O’Neal was delegated to provide trees to plant on the occasion of the Queen’s Coronation around the old recreation grounds. This idea blossomed into an annual event led by the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands. This year the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands will be partnering with UNITE BVI to bring a host of activities to the general public.

National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands’ Director, Dr. Cassander Titley-O’Neal  stated, “The origins of Arbour Day dates all the way back to 1872 as it was a day created to celebrate the planting, upkeep, and preservation of trees.  Trees and other plants play a key role in buffering  temperatures to mitigate against the effects of climate change.  The establishment of our national parks here in the BVI ensures that that Trust is doing its part to preserve and manage natural areas, in order to improve the quality of life in the British Virgin Islands.  As the Director, I would like to thank Unite BVI for their continued support over the last 3 years, inclusive of this year’s Arbour Day activities.” 

Executive Director, UNITE BVI, Dr. L Sauda Smith stated, “ UNITE BVI is proud to support the Arbour Day activities of the Trust and all of their efforts to preserve and conserve the natural beauty of the Virgin Islands.” 

Arbour Day activities include:

• Poetry Competition

• Topic: "Role of Trees in Climate Change Resilience"

• Categories:

• Adult

• 13 - 16 yrs

• 9 - 12 yrs

• 5 - 8 yrs

• Deadline for entries: November 18th

• Winners announced: Arbour Day, November 25th

School and Community Plantings: November 21st - 30th

Plant Sale and Community Free Tree Giveaway, J R O’Neal Botanic Gardens: November 21st - 25th

Persons interested in participating in the poetry competition are asked to create an original poem which highlights the role of trees in climate change resilience. The deadline for poetry submissions is November 18th. Winners will be announced on Arbour Day, November 25th.



Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)

354 James Walter Francis Drive
RJT Edifice Building, 5th Floor
Road Town, TORTOLA VG1110

Tel: 284 468 2730
Fax: 284 468 2750