Did you know that in 1960, a section of the Union Agricultural and Research Station was established to be used as a nursery by the Forestry Division?
The Union Nature Trail runs through that land, starting out from the nursery where the seedlings are grown and passing in a wide loop around the perimeter to eventually come back to the nursery. Many of the trees were already growing naturally on the site, however, others such as Mahogany, Teak, Caribbean Pine and Blue Mahoe were introduced.
Small experimental plantations of these introductory species were started and the nursery provides most of the trees used in the re-afforestation and soil and watershed protection projects throughout the island.
Some other tress that can be seen along the Union Nature Trail include guava (gwiyav), bamboo (banmbou), cinnamon (kannel), calabash, (kalbas), coconut (koko), and cashew nuts (nwa).
Crayfish can sometimes be seen in the streams and land crabs sometimes appear from burrows in the soft ground.
The tarantula (matootoo) is present but is rarely seen, but numerous other harmless spiders hang their webs among the grasses and shrubs along the trail. A mini-zoo is also located on the Gabriel ‘coco’ Charles Forestry Compound.
Source: Guide to Union Nature Trail
Photo Credit: A. Aimable
This feature runs every Tuesday and Thursday. It is compiled by daughter of the soil Anselma Aimable, a former agricultural officer and former correspondent for Caribbean Net News, who has a deep interest in local culture and history. Send ideas and tips to [email protected]