Maybe The Sanctuary Didn’t Pay Enough “Consulting Fees” ?
We heard news this morning that is both frightening and sad. Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is up for sale.
For those of you who have never been there Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is one of the most magical places in Barbados. It is a world class conservatory dedicated to preserving the indigenous flora and fauna of our country while at the same time working to preserve endangered species of Caribbean birds and fish.
Ecotourists from all over the world consider it the major attraction in Barbados. Our schoolchildren have all been there (so have we) and have marveled at the various exhibits while learning about conservation and nature. It has been the backdrop for many romantic moments and countless weddings and special events.
It will be sad if Barbados loses this wonderful treasure. Because of where it is and what it is if it is lost it is irreplaceable. We shudder to think that it might soon be just another location where a condo developer has his way.
Why Is Barbados Losing This Precious Natural Asset?
The frightening part of this story is the reason this is all happening. The Nature Sanctuary was financed and built entirely our of the pocket of a Canadian philanthropist, Peter Allard. Reports are that he donated $32 million dollars of his own money and years of his own time to provide Barbados with this jewel and asked nothing in return except maybe a vote of thanks from all of us and a promise to treat this gift to the country with the respect it deserves so that it will last even after Mr. Allard is no longer with us.
Lately Mr. Allard was gracious enough to offer a further gift to the country by donating adjacent land, some twenty acres, to the creation of a National Park in the Graeme Hall area. We are told he has now sat by for 9 months while he waited a response, or even an acknowledgement, that the government of our country was giving this offer and possibly the fate of the Nature Sanctuary itself the consideration it deserves.
Government Didn’t Even Reply To Mr. Allard’s Offer Of Free Land For A National Park !!!
Instead the government is going ahead with a plan to allow another developer to build a waterpark upstream from the nature sanctuary. In other words a noisy, polluting (lots and lots of chlorine flowing downhill will kill fish and other creatures) business that will generate lots of ‘consulting fees’ – $2,000,000 so far – and other advantages for our politicians and their friends is being installed where it is almost sure to ruin everything Mr. Allard has built.
We Weep Today For Barbados
Losing an asset like Mr. Allard is bad enough (he never asked for anything in return except the satisfaction of knowing he was helping our country). Losing a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something good for future generations by creating a park and preserving the nature sanctuary is shameful.
As we learn more we will keep you informed.
Nothing has appeared yet on the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary’s website (link here)