Graeme Hall National Park – “An Oasis In A Concrete Urban Jungle”

Adrian Loveridge writes about last Saturday’s public meeting at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and the proposal to establish a Graeme Hall National Park.

Adrian mentions the very objectionable advert placed by water park developer Kerins. We’ve been meaning to re-publish the entire advert with our comments. Maybe tomorrow if we can find the time. (We do have real lives here at BFP you know!)

Here is Adrian’s report on the meeting…

As one of several hundred people attending the recent meeting convened by the Friends of Graeme Hall, there can be no doubt of the strength of feeling not to locate the Caribbean Splash water park near the site of the nature sanctuary.

It must also be abundantly clear to the developer that despite his offensive paid advertisements, that many people are not opposed to the concept of a water park, but simply were it is located.

I also think the proposal to incorporate the nature sanctuary into an enlarged national park is a wonderful idea.

Standing on the ridge overlooking the beautifully manicured facility and looking down on the wetlands, you can almost imagine what could be created and what a truly magnificent national asset for both locals and visitors it could be.

From a tourism perspective our policymakers frequently seem to forget that we are marketing Barbados to a rapidly aging population.

It is estimated by 2020 that the average age of a visitor to our shores will be 65 years old.

If the ‘experts’ are correct I cannot see this age group cavorting over a 75 feet high waterside.

But I can visualise them sitting by a lake, watching interesting birds and wildlife, feeding the mud shark and taking gentle walks or bicycle rides in a peaceful verdant oasis while a concrete urban jungle continues growing around them.

Adrian Loveridge, 15 October 2006

Adrian runs “Peach & Quiet” resort on the south coast.

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24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Environment, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

24 responses to “Graeme Hall National Park – “An Oasis In A Concrete Urban Jungle”

  1. Can you imagine a water park near or a part of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary? It is inconceivable that folks are even pondering on the idea. As a national park, it would surely be more impactful to the area and the country of Barbados.

    I visited the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in August and took many photographs. The boardwalk is nicely done and the places to view the natural habitat are adequate. You are not allowed to go off the path and threaten the wildlife that is there.

    But I remember as a boy the times I use to frequent the area with friends. We would go fishing, crabbing, and sometimes just to ride our bicycles to the far side of the swamp. The land that borders the swamp belongs to a friend of my aunt. She has a huge Ginger Lilly Green House which she sells to other florist. But I would go there to pick guavas from the many trees on her property. Sometimes it was not abnormal to find crabs in the under-bell of your car if you parked next to her gate. Those were the good old days.

    Water Park…NO

    National Park…a big YES.

  2. honeybee

    The picture in today’s Nation did not do justice to the makeup of the large crowd at the Sanctuary on Saturday. What a pity.

    I do hope the photographer took more pictures and that we will get to see them soon.

  3. God Bless David

    I don’t have much of an opinion on the proposed water park. I’m totally indifferent as to whether the project goes ahead or not. I just think that Adrian Loveridge’s ass should have been deported a long time ago.

    That’s all I have to say on this thread…

  4. West Side Davie

    Why deport Mr. Loveridge, GBD?

    Ah yes…. he’s white.

  5. God Bless David

    Not because he’s white…but because “he who knows not and knows not that he knows not – he is a fool…shun him”

  6. West Side Davie

    So GBD, deport anyone who you disagree with then?

    What if you are the fool an you just doan know it?

  7. Carson C. Cadogan

    I could not disagree with him more!

    No doubt the ” not in my backyard crowd” had a great time, free refreshments and all.

  8. God Bless David

    Good one, WS Davie…made me laugh…you could be right, at that…

  9. Bajan George

    I attended the event at Graeme Hall, and was struck by the fact that people weren’t dwelling on the waterpark so much, it was more about favouring long term views about land-use planning. The most liveable nations and cities of the world are known for their parklands, but in the beginning it took vision to set those lands aside despite immediate pressures to build quick-profit projects instead.

    Section 7 of the reference guide put out by the Friends of Graeme Hall Committee has many examples of how parklands improve business and real estate values for an entire area.

    I don’t think this is a “not in my backyard” issue anymore. It’s way bigger than that.

  10. Hants

    How about this? In the spirit of CSME, why dont we build a Luxury resort in Graeme Hall swamp (like a mini Disney World).It could include a Waterpark.

    We could also build spectacular houses over our gullies (Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water).

    Then when Bajans want to see a “natural environment” we could visit St.Lucia and Dominica thereby helping the economies of our Caribbean brethren.

    Building a waterpark in Graeme Hall is as stupid as the above.

  11. John

    GBD

    If West Side Davie is right we might end up with a country of fools … but ….. ?

  12. John

    Carson C. Cadogan still doesn’t get it.

    So what’s new.

    Carson, did you even try looking at Google Earth as I suggested to you a while back so you could appreciate what has happened to the South Coast?

  13. John

    honeybee

    Maybee, maybee not but there is one person in it who will send shivers down Owen’s spine.

  14. Kathy

    Somebody should call Green Peace. How could any Barbadian want to pollute their country with chlorine and waste precious water (when the sea is the best water park there is, courtesy of God)? Not to mention killing wildlife and poisoning the fragile environment. Oh, of course, it’s the money… Short-term gains at the expense of “this fair land”.

  15. Environmentalist

    Carson,
    The full proposal for the Graeme Hall National Park has been posted on the website http://www.graemehallnationalpark.org for all to see, 100% transparent.

    Compare that with the EIA and Addendum to the EIA which the developer was required to place in the Bridgetown and Oistins Public libraries and then did not allow anyone to copy. Why didn’t they post it on a website to get public comment? If it was such a great proposal, without any environmental drawbacks why not put it out there for everyone to see and hopefully get people to support the proposal.

  16. ILLUMINATOR

    I think the national park is great idea , its the kind of direction we need to go in , instead of concreting every last square inch of the place .

    I feel the waterpark would be doomed to failure after a while . I dont think locals would continue to patronise it in high enough numbers after it gets stale to maintain reasonable profits. Also i dont think it would be that big with tourists as they would probably have experienced much bigger ones where they came from . It would just be more of the same . On the other hand a national park has something different and useful to the environment to offer.

  17. banned

    I wonder how much foreign exchange Graham Hall pulls in on an anual basis. Were the Caves a shinging example of an economically viable exercise. If there are serious environmental issues that cannot be overcome well then of course no water park, otherwise go for it. If the tourism people are targetting an increasingly aging population, then surly it would only be a matter of time for them to wake up and course correct.

  18. Kathy

    If the water park happened, flopped and we then changed course, it would take years to clean up the environment, and remove the concrete monstrosities from the ravaged landscape. Chlorine and other chemicals are not only dangerous to wildlife and plants, children can be harmed too. Not all families have the money for bottled water and filtered showers, after reservoirs are poisoned. The politicians will not have to live with the chemicals, and they are not likely to even admit there is a problem until people get sick enough to prove it. Even then, a cover-up is far more likely than a clean-up.

  19. Yo!

    Barbados is not a developing country.
    Barbados is not a developed country.
    Barbados IS an OVER-developed island-country,
    sagging under the weight of its concrete!

    South Coast and West Coast Barbados of 2006
    looks just like tacky over-developed Spain!
    (this comment from my UK visitor friend)

    We’re not killing it,
    we’ve already killed it!
    But go ahead and erect more ‘stuff’!

    We need Da MONEY!

  20. Crusty

    Kathy
    October 18th, 2006 at 11:37 am

    …Chlorine and other chemicals are not only dangerous to wildlife and plants, children can be harmed too. Not all families have the money for bottled water and filtered showers, after reservoirs are poisoned.

    —–
    Please understand that ‘chemical’ is an emotive
    word in this context and is used inappropriately.
    ALL things in this world are chemicals – it’s just
    that some are considered more (or less) harmful.

    You might object to the waterpark proposal for
    other reasons, as I do, but chlorine pollution is
    unlikely to be a valid argument. And the Swamp
    is not used as a water reservoir for humans so
    concerns about bottled water and shower filters
    are misplaced.

    If there are environmental concerns for overflows
    of chlorinated water from the waterpark into the
    Graeme Hall Swamp they could be addressed by
    having a drainage line straight into the sea.

    Seawater already contains about 18,000 parts per
    million of chlorine (from salt) and chlorinated pool
    water has a concentration around 1 part per million.

    References:

    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/8p.html

    http://swimming.about.com/od/allergyandasthma/a/chlorine_breath.htm

  21. Kathy

    Crusty and I both failed to distinguish between the chloride ion and chlorine gas. For instance, I could hold a lump of wet salt (sodium chloride) in my hand for a long time, but try holding a wet pool chlorine tablet in your hand, and you will need to see a doctor. A tiny amount of pool chlorine in a sea-water fish tank full of healthy, flourishing fish will instantly transform that tank into a fish-morgue. Crusty and I may not tell the difference between pool water and sea-water, but fish can tell the difference instantly, and they die very fast.

    Even freshwater fish will not survive in chlorinated water fresh from the tap.

  22. Kathy

    Crusty’s second link confuses me – it starts off by saying that chlorine in pools causes breathing problems in even healthy swimmers. That supports my theory that chlorinating water to the levels required for pools is unhealthy for humans, as well as wildlife.

    Also, I was not suggesting that the swamp is used for drinking water. I was merely concerned that heavily used pollutants could get into the water supply by accident, or by improper disposal.

  23. Yo!

    Dear Mr. Kerins,
    We need to ascertain where Carson C. Cadogan lives,
    and I propose placing your fabulous new Spalsh Waterpark in HIS backyard!

    Dear Carson C. Cadogan,
    We await details as to the location of your regular abode.

    Thanks for your attn. to this, both of you.
    have a nice day.
    Now we know where the water park IS going!

  24. J Grant-Stuart

    I grew up very near the ‘swamp’ and some of my most treasured memories are of that sacred place. CONSERVE PLEASE & DO NOT DESTROY. Barbados does not need a Waterpark!!!!!!
    The Sea is it’s waterpark, surely??? But don’t forget that even the beaches need CONSERVATION………..