Minister of Tourism, Senator Lisa Cummins (right) presents Curator of the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, Sharon Cooke, with a token of appreciation during a visit to the tourist attraction yesterday. Looking on is the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s Chief Product Development Officer, Marsha Alleyne. (S.Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

Curator of the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, Sharon Cooke, has revealed that locals will have free access to the attraction, until year end.

This was highlighted during a tour of the Gardens on Tuesday by Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins. 

The Andromeda Botanic Gardens, located in Bathsheba, St. Joseph, was the first stop as the Ministry launched its new initiative Barbados Uh Come From.

Minister Cummins stated that the Barbados National Trust property was a “fantastic place to kick-off the Barbados Uh Come From weekly tours”.

“A number of school children who are now on summer holiday; they are at home; they are going off to their summer camps, but many of them, like many of their parents need to be able to appreciate Barbados and what we have as a people and as a country ….

“We want to make sure that we get our families, our communities, our children out to enjoy our attractions, so that when visitors come, we are the first tourists and then they are the second … and we would have become ambassadors who can help sell our attractions and the beauty of our authenticity, and say this is my home and I’m proud of it.”

Ms. Cooke, who is also Managing Director of Passiflora Limited, exclaimed: “I think this is the perfect place to start because I’ve been saying all the time, Barbados’ heritage belongs to us first …. So, this year we’ve got this initiative, all locals are free.”

She shared, that since introducing free access to locals from August 15, only 10 out of the 700 people who had visited the tourist attraction, had been there before. 

She added that the “substantial donations” made by locals, who recently visited, will go a long way towards the upkeep and maintenance of the attraction, which costs around $5,000 a month.

Currently, the attraction employs three persons and receives assistance from four volunteers, who maintain and upkeep the property. 

Andromeda Gardens, which was created by Iris Bannochie in 1954, was named after the Greek Goddess because, like its namesake, it is chained to the rock. The tropical gardens, housed on six acres of land, has a unique collection of trees and plants.

Locals interested in visiting the gardens should email sharon@andromedabarbados.com, ​or call 433-9384, for further details. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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