By Monique Washington

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has donated $1 million to the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) to combat erosion and reforest Coconut Walk at New River by the old Sugar Mill.

The historical Coconut Walklost all its coconut trees due to diseases and major soil erosion has destroyed historical artifacts.

NHCS Executive Director Evelyn Henville told the Observer that Coconut Walk is the home of an Amerindian site.

“There is an Amerindian site located there, but because of the erosion we have lost many of our historical artifacts that have been washed in the ocean,” Henville’ssaid.

“We have received funding and plan to plant between 30 and 40 coconut trees and sea grape tress along the coast to prevent further erosion and to protect the site,” she said. “The reduction of soil erosion will be achieved and prevent the removal of valued topsoil from the landscape.”

Henvillesaid the project will help the land and the coral reef,” Henvillesaid.“The plants will act as a filter system to prevent sediment and foreign objects from washing into the reef system. The plants will also help create a much needed buffer zone between the sea and the farming area.”

The New River Farmer’s Cooperative and the communities of Zion’s, Webbes Ground, Hickman’s, Fothergill’s, Harris, Eden Brown and Butlers will also benefit from this project.

According to the GEF Small Grant Program this project is expected to increase the number of hectares of land where sustainable use, climate proofing and water management practices are employed. The project will increase the number of hectares ofdegraded land restored and rehabilitated;demonstrate sustainable land management;demonstrate acommunity-based environmental monitoring system;involve twoneighboring communities in the project; and increased income on one farm due to improved land and water management practices.

The Observer was told the planting of the tress has not begun, but will start soon.