Mounted jalousie and panel doors, marking where houses once stood, will soon usher visitors in, as phase I of the Church Village Redevelopment Project, in The City, nears completion.
Representatives from the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTI), the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture and other relevant agencies toured the project this morning and got insight into the significance of various features across the park???s landscape.
Director of Cultural Policy and Research with the Ministry of Culture, Sheron Johnson, said that she believes the project ???will do a lot to enhance Historic Bridgetown??? It???s something we really wanted, so that locals and visitors to the island can have another green space that they can enjoy.
???It???s a place that I hope that the Barbadian public, people from the surrounding communities, the public at large and artists will make full use of. We don???t have enough cultural activities in The City and this space is a unique space, [and] one that lends itself???to help in the revitalisation effort of Bridgetown,??? she said.
The park features solar powered lighting and boulder seating; an irrigation system to capture and distribute rainwater; an amphitheatre to facilitate outdoor events; a concessions kiosk and a waterfall/pond.
Speaking about their desire to maintain the location???s historic integrity, Project Manager from Consulting Engineers Partnership, Dr. Judith Harvey, disclosed that ???one aspect of the heritage is the preservation of pathways. Another aspect is the foliage; traditional foliage in the form of breadfruit and fruit trees???are preserved on the site??? [and] a tree of the same species as the bearded fig tree, is planted near the top of the site.??? She added that the park should be open to the public by the end of this month.
Representatives also toured Phases I and II of the Constitution River Redevelopment Project, which is set to be completed in a few weeks.
Project Director from DLN Consultants, Ian Nicholls, explained that green areas had been established along the river to serve as a welcoming space for those who travelled along the area.
He added that simulated wetland sections had been included along the riverside to encourage birdlife, which was once present at the site, to return.
Chairman of the Barbados World Heritage Committee, Mark Cummins, expressed his satisfaction with the progress of both projects, noting that ???a lot of the history and heritage of Church Village has been replicated in the open space???.
He said that the Constitution River Project, was equally as important because the work being carried out by the BTI, had not only changed the whole concept of River Road, but it would change the concept of that area of Bridgetown and its environs.
???The challenge now is to educate persons not to dump garbage or do anything to deface the landscape and ensure that we don???t put any garbage in the waterway; but it certainly is a significant lift to The City,??? he said.
The Church Village and Constitution River Redevelopment Projects are funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and the BTI.