Giant mahogany trees saved on Little Cayman

| 25/10/2021 | 25 Comments
Mahogany trees on Little Cayman on land purchased by the National Trust

(CNS) The Little Cayman District Committee of the National Trust has purchased a small parcel of land at the west end of the island to protect three huge old-growth mahogany trees. A prominent landmark on Little Cayman for as long as memory serves, the trees are clearly visible in the first aerial survey photos of Little Cayman taken in 1972, towering above the surrounding forest canopy. The trees are hundreds of years old and have been a point of interest for decades, the National Trust for the Cayman Islands said in a release about the small land purchase.

The Trust said it remains a mystery why these trees did not fall to the axe during the extensive logging on all three Cayman Islands after the arrival of Europeans and then during the phosphate mining era on Little Cayman in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

It is all the more puzzling that the trees survived, given that an old open pit phosphate mine is literally in the shade of these trees.

But they are now safe to live out their lives as a result of a donation of US $39,000 by Brigitte Kassa, a long time resident of Little Cayman who settled on the island with her late husband, Basil, in 1973, when there were fewer than 20 inhabitants. Kassa is a founding member of the Little Cayman District Committee and a Life Member of the National Trust, who has made numerous donations over the years to help buy land to preserve and protect the unique flora, fauna and pristine environment of Little Cayman.

An author of several children’s books, she has recently complete an autobiography that chronicles her colourful life, From Coffee, to Champagne, to Coconuts. She plans to donate the proceeds from the book to the Trust’s land fund.


Share your vote!


How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (25)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. anon says:

    Many, many expats have donated large sums for the NT to acquire land for preservation in perpetuity, it’s time some of our very wealthy Caymanians step up to the plate – it’s their country.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Brigitte and Basil Kassa. Good vibes back to you from a grateful public.

    Perhaps even more remarkable is that just KYD$32,000 is sufficient private donation to put most of Cayman’s legacy-fortuned surnames and professional millionaires to shame. The philanthropic civic duty hurdle is set tragically low. Do these other families just not care about anything other than hoarding cash? Where are their donations, hospital wings, and vocational training centres? Give back 1-2% please.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good to hear, but surprised Dart hasn’t snapped these up for his own yard. Just in time I say.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart has actually grown indigenous plants & trees here for the last 15+ years. Brought in a horticulturalist & the original nursery is where Camana Bay is now & the bigger nursery is in WB. They moved trees from the Jasmine Villa site, instead of merely bulldozing them as other developers do, and moved them to ET highway.
      No. I’m not a Dartbot or an employee.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, you are correct but I know for a fact he paid a pittance to islanders for majestic trees he wanted for his own garden a West Indian Club. But alas if fools are willing to sell anything that he wants to him they can’t complain.

      • Anonymous says:

        Partially correct, but notably out of an abundance of corporate frugality and self-interest in landscaping select areas of their property portfolio, and camouflaging dredged marl cashes. The other neighbouring lands, also owned, are spectacularly neglected – overgrown, covered in trash, with roads and seawalls collapsing. There are no uniformed estate managers or labelled service and maintenance fleets. None of those full-time jobs that ought to be filled with Caymanians. Dart want all the prestige without the liabilities and duties that come with asset ownership, and many fall into this false benediction trap.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh well, that fixes everything then eh!

        Dart does NOT do anything without thought about what it does for him.

        If you think the likkle altruistic things he does is for out of the good ness of his shriveled heart, you too are a Kool aide drinking Camana Bay zombie. ANd that’s okay too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe ask the National Trust how much land they have been gifted by same.

      • Anonymous says:

        The district parks (for example where the NT office is on South Church) was gifted by Dart after one of their original staff members here suggested it.

        • Anonymous says:

          That was always crown land but the National Trust is aware of what has been given to them.

        • Anonymous says:

          That was government property. Dart paid for the landscaping, but don’t try to make it out to be more than it was.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps these trees could be used as timber to build affordable housing? That would give people a leg up.

    • Anon says:

      10:05? Yes yes. Amen. Others should step forward to help with buying parks and civic responsibilities.
      Only Linton Tibbetts and Charles Kirkconnell gave back to the community.
      Maybe others will come forward with donations.

    • Anon says:

      Hello 10:07? Which planet are you on? Do you not see the benefit of saving these lovely trees? Trees clean the air. Trees provide shade and beauty for a community. Trees like these cannot be grown in a few months. It took years and years to get these trees to this lovely maturity. Hopefully, these trees will bring peace and joy to others as they visit the potential park where they are located.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol. Have fun in a hurricane in a wood house. Heard of the big bad wolf?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Brigitte!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Heroic use of $39k

  7. Anonymous says:

    Some good news!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.