Grand Case, Saint Martin —Learn about one of our island’s most amazing native trees and take home a free seedling to plant in your backyard or neighborhood at the Lagoonies Regatta, this Saturday, June 27th. This seedling giveaway is part of Club Gaïac, the Les Fruits de Mer association’s heritage tree project. The Gaïac, also known as Lignum Vitae, is an endangered native tree.
Sometimes called the Tree of Life for its alleged medicinal properties, the Gaïac is a hardy, slow-growing tree native to our region. Prized for their incredibly strong wood—the densest of any tree in the world—these beautiful trees were over-harvested for centuries, particularly during the colonial era, and are now officially endangered. Like other native trees, they provide food and shelter to many of the island’s animals. Replanting these trees, even in our own backyards, helps create habitat for native animals and helps restore this important heritage tree for future generations. The Club Gaïac project promotes Gaïac restoration through seedling giveaways and other outreach activities, both online and at events.
Sixty Gaïac seedlings have been raised specifically for the giveaway at the 2015 Lagoonies Regatta. They will be available for free on a first-come, first-served basis at Les Fruits de Mer’s Club Gaïac station at the event, which will also feature displays and presentations about the Gaïac’s role in the local ecosystem and its fascinating historical uses on this island and around the world. Anyone with a Gaïac tree in their yard is encouraged to bring seeds that can be cultivated for future seedling giveaways.
The Lagoonies Regatta will be held from 9am-5pm, followed by an awards ceremony and free live rock concert, on Saturday, June 27th at Lagoonies Bistro, located at the Lagoon Marina, Wellington Road 33-35 between ELECTEC and FKG in Cole Bay. The Club Gaïac station will be open from 10am to 6pm.