Celebration Key’s ‘Plant a Tree’ Initiative Marks Significant Milestone With 5,000 Locally Grown Trees

Carnival Corporation celebrates top contributors to the ‘Plant A Tree’ initiative- Phase 1. Left to right: Brad Thompson- ATO Landscaping, Philcher Grant- Carnival Corporation, Jessica Kemp- ATO Landscaping, Anthony Major-participant, Renata Ribeiro- Carnival Corporation, Trinice Orlando-participant, Leslie Saunders-participant, Raquel Mota- Carnival Corporation, Alexis Nairn- ATO Landscaping, Andre Wells- participant (not shown).
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Miami, Florida – Carnival Corporation & plc announced that it has purchased 5,000 palm trees, all grown locally in Grand Bahama from seed, to beautify the company’s flagship cruise port destination, Celebration Key. Through the resounding success of Phase One of the company’s ‘Plant a Tree’ initiative, 40 percent of these trees were purchased from small-scale community growers on the island.

Carnival Corporation celebrates top contributors to the ‘Plant A Tree’ initiative- Phase 1. Left to right: Brad Thompson- ATO Landscaping, Philcher Grant- Carnival Corporation, Jessica Kemp- ATO Landscaping, Anthony Major-participant, Renata Ribeiro- Carnival Corporation, Trinice Orlando-participant, Leslie Saunders-participant, Raquel Mota- Carnival Corporation, Alexis Nairn- ATO Landscaping, Andre Wells- participant (not shown).

The initiative was designed to showcase the natural beauty of Grand Bahama at Celebration Key, while fostering sustainable practices, empowering the community and supporting local growers who can benefit financially while helping showcase the island’s dazzling native plant life to cruise guests from around the world.

“The Grand Bahama community’s enthusiastic participation has been instrumental in achieving this milestone,” said Raquel Mota, Senior Port Services Manager, Carnival Corporation. “The initiative was launched in October 2023 and we have already met our target for the first phase.

“We want to congratulate and say thank you to every local grower who took part. We encourage them to keep up the good work as Carnival Corporation intends to continuing partnering with as many Grand Bahamians as possible as we move toward the opening of Celebration Key.”

Carnival Corporation hosted a tree planting event on Wednesday to celebrate top contributors to the initiative in the areas of: ‘Best Quality Plants’ and ‘Most Plants Provided.’ Winners were gifted project shirts and dinner vouchers, and will be invited to visit Celebration Key once the port is open to see their efforts flourishing onsite.

Leslie Saunders, who has sold more than 200 plants to Carnival Corporation through the initiative so far, said: “We are very thankful for this initiative as it has allowed us to profit from working on the land. I want to thank Carnival for believing in Bahamians and supporting the efforts of local growers in a meaningful way. It is also a source of pride to know that the development will be beautified by native plants, born and raised in Grand Bahama.”

He said he intends to continue supplying plants to beautify Celebration Key as the initiative moves forward.

Mota announced that building upon the success of Phase 1, which focused on palm trees, Carnival Corporation is launching Phase 2 starting on May 9th, 2024 which will focus on an array of native plants including Gumbo-Limbo, Seagrape, Silver and Green Buttonwood, Green Island Ficus and Bougainvillea of various colors.

She said: “Once again, we are calling on the Grand Bahama community to participate actively.  “We are looking for plants with good foliage and roots, among other quality requirements so bring us your best green thumb efforts!”

Starting May 9th, drop-off for plant contributions will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-11am at ATO Landscaping, Gina Farms Site, Grand Bahama Highway.  Carnival is encouraging any grower interested in taking part in Phase 2 to come out and discuss their production capacity with the landscaping team ahead of time. More information on this initiative can be found at https://celebrationkeygrandbahama.com, or by following ‘Celebration Key Grand Bahama’ on Facebook and Instagram, where a list of requirements and plants needed will be posted.

In all, Carnival Corporation is seeking 200,000 locally grown plants to adorn Celebration Key through the various stages of this initiative. Mota added: “We want to showcase the very best of the natural splendor of Grand Bahama at Celebration Key to our guests, while also creating economic opportunities for Bahamians. Together we can create a vibrant, sustainable environment that benefits both locals and visitors alike.”

With a $100 million pier extension recently announced, the $600 million project is set to generate over 700 permanent local jobs in Grand Bahama, including direct employment opportunities in food and beverage, retail, and transportation sectors. A least 75% of Celebration Key outlets to be owned and operated by Bahamians.

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