KIMBERLY LOCKE Reporting: The Belize Botanic Gardens (BBG) today held graduation for the latest participants in its Landscaping and Gardening program. Twelve graduates – eight men and 4 women – received certificates after completing the 12-week Horticulture training which gave them basic instructions on Gardening and how to make their own garden.
The graduates also took part in a 10 weeks On the Job Training Program. This is the fifth group of Horticulture students and On the Jon trainees to graduate.
According to the coordinators of the training program, the graduates are leaving having learnt the basics of pruning, grafting, transplanting, soil testing and nursery establishment. The Valedictorian for today’s graduation was Cliff Swasey.
A special award was given to Abdon Tzib for outstanding performance in the training. The Horticulture and On the Job Training program are made possible with financial input from the European Union and was carried out by Duploy’s Resort and Belize Botanic Gardens.
Proprietor of DuPloy’s Resort and the director of the EU Project for Professional Gardening Judy DuPloy said she is proud of the achievements of the group and wished them well in all their future endeavors.
She told reporters that she is confident that the graduates are fully equipped to be a gardener and are ready to work. Anyone in need of a gardener can call DuPloy’s Resort which will facilitate placement of any of the available graduates. Judy DuPloy noted that since the commencement of the Horticulture and On the Job Training Program, a total of 63 men and women have graduated. Impressively, says DuPloy, 65% of the graduates are now gainfully employed.
The Belize Botanic Gardens has also carried out a successful Bird Training program, boasting 103 graduates so far who were taught the basics of bird and plant identification.
Denis Lueseur who is the EU’s Technical Assistance Team Leader who worked alongside Duploy’s and the Belize Botanic Gardens in his address, encouraged the graduates to find and create employment in gardening by utilizing the skills and knowledge learned during the course of the training.
He ended his speech by telling the graduates that “Learning is a treasure no thief can touch.”
After the formal graduation ceremonies, the graduates took the invited guests and their parents on a tour of projects they completed during the course of their training.
The next intake of students for the professional gardens training is on February 17.
Interested persons can call Natalie Bol at telephone number 834-4800 to register.
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