Children enjoying the facilities??at one of the play parks constructed by the National Conservation Commission.??

Developers have been urged to earmark suitable plots and not the worst ones for recreational spaces within developments.

This call has come from Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, who said recreational spaces were important to all Barbadians, particularly since the island was becoming a "fast-paced society and we need to find places where we can cool down, so to speak.

"It is important that developers take the provision of open spaces into account, since such areas are critical to the social well-being of residents within their respective communities.?? Further, developers need also to be mindful that such open lots should not be the worst of the plot, but that they should also be left in such a state that residents can make full use of them immediately once the development is completed," he implored.

Minister Lowe’s comments came at last Saturday’s official opening of the Ellerton Play Park, the most recent to be constructed by the National Conservation Commission (NCC). This was done in collaboration with the Barbados Children’s Trust, which to date, has donated equipment for parks at Silver Sands, Christ Church; Gall Hill, St. John;?? Lammings, St. Joseph; The Learning Centre, St. James;?? and?? Good Shepherd and Hillaby Turner’s Hall Primary Schools.

He assured residents, especially the children of Ellerton, and those from surrounding districts, that Government was committed to the concept of a community-based green infrastructure, and would continue to establish similar parks and open spaces to add significant benefits to our environment.

"We have recognised that throughout the island, there are a significant number of open lots which form part of the housing developments. In most instances, these are creating unseemly spaces where pests and other types of undesirable animals are now frequenting and polluting the area and posing a threat to the health of Barbadians.

"Government will seek to work within these communities to assist with the development of recreational parks which will result in positive benefits," Dr. Lowe said.

Noting that the development of green spaces and parks would provide a diverse range of benefits that would immediately improve quality of life, Minister Lowe said these served to improve person’s physical and psychological health, while making neighbourhoods more attractive for residents to live and work.

Describing the newest park as a continuation of NCC’s programe, General Manager, Keith Neblett, pointed out in addition to having opened and, or refurbished three parks so far this year, they were currently working on King George V Memorial Park and refurbishing the Errol Barrow Memorial Park.

Urging residents of the area to treat the facility with care, NCC Chairman, Tyrone Lowe, disclosed that they were investigating reports of vandalism at one of the Commission’s more popular parks.??

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