Knockalva Agri School team visits Sandals Dunn’s River

As part of its ongoing Tourism in Schools programme, Sandals Dunn’s River opened its doors to a group of eager students from Knockalva Agricultural School recently.

The unique collaboration showcased the resort’s commitment to community engagement and its desire to impart knowledge and expertise in the field of landscaping.

Peta-Gaye McLeary, assistant landscaping manager for Sandals Dunn’s River, played a pivotal role in making the educational opportunity possible. “It’s heartwarming to see Sandals Dunn’s River reaching out to local schools and sharing our expertise. This type of engagement is not only beneficial to the students but also exemplifies Sandals’ commitment to community growth,” she said.

Her sentiment underscores the significance of community involvement and the positive impact it can have on the students and the broader local community.

The highlight of the visit was the tour guided by Landscaping Manager Jesse-Jo Johnson who is an alumnus of Knockalva Agricultural School. During the tour, Johnson imparted invaluable knowledge to the students. He emphasised the importance of treating lawns for fungus and insects, explaining the resort’s meticulous lawn care regimen.

The students learned about identifying nutrient deficiencies in plants and how to rectify them, ensuring optimal health and growth. Furthermore, the tour delved into the art of selective and renewal pruning, showcasing how the practice enhances the visual appeal of the gardens and promotes plant longevity.

The students also gained insight into the critical aspect of pest identification in various areas of the resort, equipping them with the skills to tackle landscaping challenges in a holistic manner.

Irrigation and integrated pest management were integral parts of the educational journey. Students discovered the resort’s eco-friendly irrigation techniques, emphasising water conservation and efficient resource utilisation. Integrated pest management techniques were also showcased, underlining the importance of environmentally responsible pest control methods.

Johnson, visibly elated to share his knowledge, emphasised the impact of an experiential approach, stating, “guiding students from my alma mater and nurturing the next generation of agriculturalists is incredibly fulfilling. Landscaping is an art, and I wholeheartedly embrace the value of sharing knowledge. This experience not only fortifies our community but also enriches the entire industry.”