Blue Iguana Recovery Program

St. Ignatius Prep School goes blue

Mar 6th, 2006 | By | Category: Blues in the Local Press

Caymanian Compass
Cliodhna McGowan, cliodhna@cfp.ky

Monday 6th March, 2006

Children from St. Ignatius Prep School were blue on Friday – a happy blue.

As part of an ongoing project to recognise the importance of the Cayman Blue Iguana in the local environment, the prep school had a special Blue Day, 24 February.

Students dressed in blue and each brought in two dollars to help raise funds to sponsor a blue iguana from the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

Teachers from KGC Mrs. Gibson and Ms Crum-Ewing displayed beautiful paintings done by their 26 Kindergarten students to tie in with Blue Day.

The paintings, which were done by the students last year, depict statues of blue iguanas, such as those on the blue iguana trail around Grand Cayman.

The inventive pictures were done in paint, glitter and sequins, with each child making up a name for their own iguana. Those such as Bunny, Lizzie, Swimmy, Flower, Cookie and Batman all show the creative minds of the children.

Along with Kindergarten classes, Year 3 also did Blue Iguana paintings.

Once enough money is raised for the children to sponsor their very own blue iguana ($500) a competition will be held to name it, and a field trip will take place to visit the reptile.

“The children are very excited about it,” explained Mrs. Gibson.

The whole concept of Blue Day was born when in phonics lessons the word “iguana” was used to promote the sound from the letter “I”.

“We knew about the conservation of iguanas being done at the Botanic Park and one of our parents, Kathy Jackson from the Department of Tourism, helped us with information about the Blue Dragon Trail,” Mrs. Gibson said.

This Blue Dragon Trail was formed in an attempt to conserve the endangered Grand Cayman Blue Iguana (the most endangered iguana in the world), when the arts and the environment came together and 15 oversized sculptures were commissioned in order to draw attention to these wonderful creatures.

A special guide has also been produced, including a special map, designed to depict the trail of these sculptures as it flows around the island.

Mrs. Gibson continued, “We did a lesson about conservation, because we thought it was important for the kids to begin awareness at a young age, and we felt it was a worthy project and one that would capture the children’s interest.”

“We want them to be aware of the plight of the blue iguana and the very important part it plays in the Cayman Islands� environment.”

“It is doubly exciting that we’ll take a field trip to the Botanic Park. We are also encouraging parents to take the children on the Blue Iguana Trail,” she said.

Blue Dragon Trail is presented by the National Trust and the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands and supported by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the Dart Foundation.

One of the biggest challenges for the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme is getting enough protected habitat to allow the programme to restore a viable live population of Blue Iguanas into the wild.

http://www.caycompass.com/cgi-bin/CFPnews.cgi?ID=1011514

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