At The Strand, we’re more than just a real estate development in Turks and Caicos.
We’re also environmental stewards with a commitment to sustainability, doing our part to protect the natural environment at Cooper Jack Bay as The Strand slowly comes to life.
We’ve ensured our development is sustainable through the design of The Strand, as well as the building materials and use of renewable energy once the homes are complete. And as part of our efforts, we’re working to make The Strand a pollinator sanctuary—a place where bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinator species on Providenciales congregate through the preservation of natural flora and thoughtful landscaping that incorporates nectar-producing plants native to our islands. Increased pollinator populations will not only provide beautiful wildlife viewing for residents, but more pollinators will also lead to increased pollination of our native flowering plants and an overall healthier and more diverse ecosystem for plants and animal species on and around The Strand.
To help us achieve our goal of transforming The Strand site into a haven for pollinators, we recently invited researchers from the Colorado-based Butterfly Pavilion to survey our land at Cooper Jack. As part of their visit to Turks and Caicos, we also took the opportunity to visit local youth programs—the non-profit Edward C. Gartland Youth Centre and the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources Junior Park Warden Program—to help educate the next generation on the importance of pollinators not only to our environment in TCI, but also to the world.
Turks and Caicos Pollinators
The Turks and Caicos is home to various flowering plants, from frangipani and yellow elder, to lignum vitae and local orchids that are native exclusively to our islands and the Bahamas. We’re also home to several pollinators, including several bird species, butterflies and even bats.
To help not only instill knowledge, and foster appreciation among our youth for our pollinators and the important role they play in our ecosystem, we brought Amy Yarger and Lorna McCallister from the Butterfly Pavilion with us to visit local youth programs in July.
These visits started with a talk introducing the kids to pollinators—what they are, what they do, and why they matter. But to give them an even better understanding, Amy and Lorna brought the kids outside to explore the environment around them, searching for flowering plants and pollinators that are often found close by. It was so fun to see the kids get excited as they identified pollinators right in their backyard.
Why Pollinators Matter
But why are pollinators such a big deal?
Despite their small size, pollinators are responsible for the majority of the world’s food production—about one out of every three bites of food is available to us thanks to pollinators.
These special creatures carry pollen from plant to plant, allowing the transfer of genetic material necessary to the reproduction of most flowering plants, which are responsible for producing fruits, vegetables and nuts, as well as half of the world’s oils, fibers and raw materials.
And even beyond agriculture, pollinators are providing a vital ecological service. Over two-thirds of the world’s plants rely on these animals to help them with reproduction. Our native plant communities only thrive when pollinators are abundant and diverse. Without healthy pollinator populations, our favorite natural areas wouldn’t be able to withstand erosion, flooding and pests.
How You Can Help Pollinators
As we work toward making The Strand a pollinator sanctuary, we urge you to do the same. How can you create a pollinator sanctuary of your own? Simply add local flowering plants especially, native plant species, to your garden. If you’re preparing to build, be mindful when clearing land. As much as possible, preserve the local bush to ensure the bees, birds, butterflies and more still have abundant food sources and places to reproduce in your yard.