A very few BFP commenters (it seems with an agenda to discredit the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and donor Peter Allard) posted information that the people of Barbados shouldn’t even want to own the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary as it is (so they say) a liability, not an asset.
Nevermind the issue of a clean and stable watershed. Nevermind the natural beauty and tourism attraction. Nevermind that the Barbados Government pumps millions of dollars annually into schemes that make the medieval quest to turn lead into gold almost legitimate… the commenters with an agenda declared that the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was loosing millions of dollars every year.
Here is what the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary has to say about those comments…
Dear Barbados Free Press,
Here is some information which may shed some light on recent comments by certain readers of BFP in regard to Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.
Some of these reader comments are not true. There are many good-hearted and well-meaning people in and out of Government who know
this, and believe that a National Park at Graeme Hall would be a good thing. Here are my responses:
The Allard investment in the Sanctuary is in excess of US $16 million.
Total acreage of the Sanctuary is 34.25 acres. The Offer made in December 2007 included donation of 25 of those acres plus financial and
technical services to improve and manage the Graeme Hall green space in its entirety as a National Park for all Barbadians. The donation
offer represented the largest single philanthropic offer ever made by Peter Allard, or the Allard Family, worldwide.
As this is being written, Mr. Allard is investing nearly Bds $900,000 to install an upgraded Nature Pathway System with an additional 60
interpretive exhibit signs for birds and botanicals, plus additional infrastructure improvements, all of which are designed to last another
20-25 years. He cannot profit from these investments. If he didn’t care, or if he wanted to make as much money as possible from a sale, he
wouldn’t do it. This philanthropic investment, as well as countless others, will never be repaid to Mr. Allard, except in the sense that he
will know he has done the right and ethical thing for the people of Barbados.
Sanctuary operations are rapidly moving toward break-even status. Based on the hard work by Harry Roberts and his staff, break-even
operations are expected within the first quarter of next year (2008).
Mr. Allard has always known that there would be a day when the future of the Sanctuary would need to be assured beyond his lifetime, and for that
reason alone it is best for us and best for the Government and people of Barbados to address how the Sanctuary and surrounding lands can be
protected in perpetuity. It is not in anyone’s best interest to wait for the disposition of the Sanctuary to become an estate issue, as no
one can assure the people of Barbados that Mr. Allard’s heirs would have the long-term interests of Barbados at heart.
Oversight and Philanthropy
Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary