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Les Fruits de Mer

853_les_fruits~ Distribute Free Gaïac Seedlings ~

Learn about one of our island's most amazing native trees and take home a free seedling to plant in your backyard or neighbourhood at the Lagoonies Regatta, this Saturday, June 27. This seedling giveaway is part of Club Gaïac, the Les Fruits de Mer association's heritage tree project. The Gaïac, also known as Lignum Vitae, is an endangered native tree. The Club Gaïac station will be open from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Sometimes called the Tree of Life for its alleged medicinal properties, the Gaïac is a hardy, slow-growing tree native to our region. Prized for their incredibly strong wood –the densest of any tree in the world – these beautiful trees were over-harvested for centuries, particularly during the colonial era, and are now officially endangered. Like other native trees, they provide food and shelter to many of the island's animals. Replanting these trees, even in our own backyards, helps create habitat for native animals and helps restore this important heritage tree for future generations. The Club Gaïac project promotes Gaïac restoration through seedling giveaways and other outreach activities, both online and at events.

Sixty Gaïac seedlings have been raised specifically for the giveaway at the 2015 Lagoonies Regatta. They will be available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis at Les Fruits de Mer's Club Gaïac station at the event, which will also feature displays and presentations about the Gaïac's role in the local ecosystem and its fascinating historical uses on this island and around the world. Anyone with a Gaïac tree in their yard is encouraged to bring seeds that can be cultivated for future seedling giveaways.

Club Gaïac is a heritage tree habitat restoration project created for the island by Les Fruits de Mer. The Club Gaïac project promotes restoration of the Gaïac tree through seedling giveaways, education, and other outreach activities, both online and at events. To find out more about the Club Gaïac project online and see the Gaïac trees of St. Martin on an interactive map, visit: http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/projects/club-gaiac/

Les Fruits de Mer is a non-profit association based in St. Martin whose core mission is to raise awareness about nature, culture and sport. The organization carries out this mission through publications, an education program, and special public outreach events that entertain, inspire and inform. The association is currently accepting new member applications on its website, http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com.

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