Time To Make Graeme Hall National Park A Reality

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Barbados Free Press Readers Say The Time Is Now

BFP reader Greengage penned the following…

Arthur’s turning down Matthew Kerins “Caribbean Splash” application (for a water fun park on ABC Highway) just before he was kicked out was wonderful news for those 7,000 of us who signed the petition against it. It could well be that O$A knew what would come to light in his dealings with Kerins if he was not reelected.

It really had seemed that Arthur was determined to honour his cozy deal with Kerins despite the public outcry against it. On Brass Tacks the PM bluntly stated in respect to “Caribbean Splash”that he alone would determine what was best for the nation! This in the face of Town Hall meetings unanimous in opposition to it.

The Friends of Graeme Hall developed the concept of a national park which would incorporate the lands occupied by Ministry of Agriculture, supplemented by Graeme Hall Swamp. Government never responded to this initiative so far as we have been told.

Peter Allard then came forward with a very generous proposal to donate the major part of his Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary to the nation if Government were to create a national park in the remaining area, which is the last remaining major tract of green open land in the Greater Bridgetown area.

No government official ever acknowledged Allard’s offer, or commented on it, such was the apparent animosity existing between Arthur and Allard.

It seemed as if the politicians must have had plans of their own for the land, including development for residence, commercialisation or tourist oriented use such as hotels. The land was taken away from Min of Agriculture and vested in a separate government-owned company so that the politicians could do as they please.

Faced with such egregious insolence and ingratitude it was not surprising that Mr Allard decided he had had enough of Barbados, and put the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary up for sale on the international market. So far as we know there have been no takers. Perhaps the door is still open to us, now that we have a new Government with a better idea of what is good for the country, judging by Greenland?

It therefore appears timely to revive this whole issue before it too late. The Friends of Graeme Hall committee should reaffirm the strong reasons for this venture which will give Barbados a national park with many peripheral activities readily accessible to the people of Greater Bridgetown- the bulk of the population.

There is another national park initiative around Codrington Nursery, but this would be costly, involving the acquisition of private lands. The beauty of the Graeme Hall location is that it already belongs to the nation, and the donation of the Nature Sanctuary would be a tremendous plus.

We must all endorse this great concept before further enthusiasm for it is lost.

Further Reading

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – Web site

Graeme Hall National Park – Friends Of Graeme Hall Website

Selected articles from Barbados Free Press…

July 31, 2007 – Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Almost Financially Self-Supporting

June 28, 2007 – Graeme Hall National Park – Powerful Entities Want To Possess And Profit From This Public Land

June 21, 2007 – Nation News Censors Important Story & Letter To Editor – Millionaire Philanthropist Abused By Barbados Government

June 12, 2007 – BREAKING NEWS: Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Up For Sale !

March 3, 2007 – Outrage As Deceitful Nation News Censors Letter From National Park Donor Peter Allard

November 16, 2006 – Barbados Government: Total Silence On Graeme Hall National Park Proposal

October 16, 2006 – Graeme Hall National Park – “An Oasis In A Concrete Urban Jungle”

July 12, 2006 – Caribbean Splash Waterpark Developer Says Barbados Government “Cannot Back Out Of The Deal…”

July 11, 2006 – OUTRAGE! Town Hall Meeting Learns Barbados PM Arthur Ordered Waterpark Built On Sensitive Watershed!

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Politics, Traveling and Tourism

10 responses to “Time To Make Graeme Hall National Park A Reality

  1. banned

    Sorry,
    But we need space for agriculture and in the case of Graham Hall, aquaculture. A perfect location for the breeding and growing out of swamp (mud) crabs for commercial (export and domestic) purposes. They will use the protein discarded from the hotels restaurants and fish markets in the area as food and we would have a wonderful recyclable thing going on. No better place in Bim for such a valuable imitative.

  2. outer limits

    The plan here is splendid and a way to have a green space in the corridor between the airport and Bridgetown before it too late. It will enhance the area for Bajans and tourists alike far into the future and be a source of national pride.

    We hope that our new leaders see that a missed opportunity here can never be regained.

  3. joy

    THE D L P have four M .P in Christ Church what is their position on Graham Hall

  4. Hants

    Graeme Hall must be preserved.

    It will be a break from the Concrete jungle forming a barrier along the south and west coasts.

    Over the years the rivers along the West Coast have been changed to concrete drains.

    Now I am reading that Holetown will have a bigger better concrete drain because a new development is under construction at Limegrove.

    I hope the Engineers got it right this time.

  5. Hastings

    Thompson should do the right thing for the south coast at Graeme Hall. He knows that the area is most valuable to the area as an urban park. If he shows leadership I think he would get support.

  6. John

    joy
    March 5, 2008 at 10:54 pm
    THE D L P have four M .P in Christ Church what is their position on Graham Hall
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    They could consult William Duguid for guidance!!

  7. Dr Duguid was frank in saying that he was against Caribbean Splash but I cannot recall him ever coming out publicly in favour of the National Park Initiative.

    Small wonder. He would have been in hot water with his boss who was in bed with Kerins, and would let no government spokesperson say “boo” on the subject.

    I look to Senator Haynesley Benn our energetic new Minister of Agriculture for leadership on the question of Graeme Hall National Park.

    The acreage involved houses his ministry and is the land used for crop experimentation. There has been a suggestion that the Ministry could stay there with the park taking shape around it.

    Others have said that it would be better for the Min of Agriculture to relocate into the countryside (preferably on lands illsuited for crop production, to keep our productive land from diminishing further).

    I observe that the cane being grown next to the highway down to Top Rock has been cut. I suspect it was the new high fibre cane proposed for burning for electricity/steam generation rather than sucrose/sugar. It will be interesting to hear how that zany scheme has worked out so far.

    The most important thing to hear from Mr Benn is that this whole area will remain GREEN whether as his ministry or as a park for the enjoyment of future generations.

  8. jackson

    Who needs this dengue invested swamp which is a health hazard. You took away a great time for us Bajans along with a major investment that will never come again for a water park. Gee thanks you rich people.

  9. jackson-
    You must be unaware that the Graeme Hall swamp and drainage area has been referred to as “the lungs of Barbados.”

    It is the opposite of a health hazard and is not “dengue infested.”

    It sounds like you are used to crowded ghetto surroundings and do not appreciate open green areas? A water park could be placed elsewhere, but it is essential to retain the last remaining open lands in the Greater Bridgetown area for future generations.

    The only reason “Caribbean Splash” was proposed to be sited by the ABC Highway in Graeme Hall was that unscrupulous officials were prepared to give away a priceless part of the nation’s birthright in exchange for under-the-table “commissions.” Without getting the site virtually free, even Kerins admitted the project would require greater investment than would make the project a money-maker.

    Come down on the last Friday of any month, “jackson”, from your cramped yard and see Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary free of cost. Then tell us it is not worth retaining.

  10. The Devil

    I was hoping that at today’s budget presentation that I would hear that the Graeme Hall National Park would be established. Well that did not happen instead the PM did say that it is hoped that theme parks would be established in Barbados.

    I was also a little confused on the issue of the protection of the East Coast while promising to consider luxury tourist developments in the same zone or do I have it wrong?