Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Riparian Stabilization in St. Lucia

Project #
St. Lucia
College of the Atlantic
  • Zimmerman Cardona
  • Andrew Louw
  • Neil Oculi

Initially, this project was named “Propagating Peace” because the goal was to bring peace and prosperity to the Mabouya River Valley in eastern St. Lucia by planting trees. Although this area is the agricultural heartland of the region, the peace and prosperity of the region have been put at risk by extensive deforestation caused by riverbank erosion. The mission of this project was to educate the local community about the effects of deforestation, to help the community see that they could take action, and to actually lead the effort to stop the erosion.

Over the course of the summer, more than 2,000 forest and fruit trees were planted along the riverbanks. Educational workshops and programs in environmental issues and solutions were directed at young students, and meetings were held with farmers, teachers, and other community leaders. There was great interest in the project, resulting in national news coverage. A documentary is being made of the summer activities and will be aired on a national network,  encouraging other community efforts throughout the country. With this attention came support and partnerships with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry, the St. Lucia Social Development Fund, and the First National Bank of St. Lucia. This expanded support allowed for more extensive educational programs and makes possible the ongoing planting of thousands of trees. As the roots of the trees
will stabilize the riverbanks, the fruits of the trees will provide food and livelihoods.

The success of this project was that, while it was conceived by three college students, eventually the community took proud ownership of the project and learned that, with active participation and organization, many issues can be solved.