Community groups,?? service clubs, schools, church?? organisations, health agencies and Barbadians from all walks of?? life are being invited to?? put on their walking shoes and?? play their part in "Stepping towards a Greener Barbados".

That’s the theme of an Environmental Community Walk slated to be held on Saturday, June 5, as part of the National Conservation Commission’s (NCC) 40th anniversary celebrations, under that same theme.

Giving the call for "massive" support for the "going green" event, NCC Chairman, Tyrone Lowe, today announced that the walk, which is being to be held on World Environment Day, would commence at 6:00 p.m. from 11 separate points across the island, and climax at a beach or park managed by the NCC.

"This walk will symbolise what we are celebrating in the entire 40th anniversary events…we want to bring people from all parishes into this exercise and make it a national event. We want it to be all- embracing…we want the whole Barbadian public to be involved with the NCC.?? Since our work would touch the entire country, we would want the entire country to be a part of what we do.

"Every little bit counts, and if we are going to really put our hands on the whole idea of water conservation, solid waste management, energy conservation and so on, we need everybody to do a little bit at a time and we think that this effort would be important in bringing about the whole national consciousness toward environmental stewardship," Mr. Lowe maintained.

Underscoring that the effort was all about building partnerships, Mr. Lowe told a press briefing at the NCC’s Headquarters: "We cannot do it alone. We believe that corporate Barbados has a role, we believe the civic organisations within the community would have a role to play, the Church, staff associations, 4H clubs and other Government entities all have to play a part in making the environmental theme meaningful."

Making mention of the prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes in the island, the NCC Chairman said they believed the activity would help somewhat in the entire health awareness thrust. Educational tips on various themes including energy conservation; recycling, water conservation and health lifestyles will also be provided during the exercise.

In addition to celebrating the department’s 40th anniversary, Mr. Lowe said the event was also aimed at stimulating environmental awareness and creating a greater appreciation for the natural environment. He cited fostering national participation; promotion of the island’s public parks; promoting healthy lifestyles; education and awareness and providing advertising opportunities as among its key benefits.

Route A: the Christ Church route will start at the Oistins Fish Market to Silver Sands Beach; while Route B: St. Andrew will travel from Belleplaine to Bathsheba. RecreationalPark.

Participants travelling Route C in St. George will go from the Parish Church to Browne’s Beach.

Route D will cover the St. James area from Husband’s Play Park to Folkestone Park and Marine Reserve; while participants in Route E in St. John route, will walk from the Gall Hill Recreational Park to Bath Beach.

Residents and groups taking Route F in St. Jospeh will journey from the District F Police Station (Eric Holder Complex) to Bathsheba Park.

Route G, which covers St. Lucy, will see participants setting off from the St. Lucy Parish Church to River bay.

Route H, the St. Michael route will travel from the NCC’s Codrington Headquarters to Browne’s Beach; while Route I, will entail St. Peter residents walking from the Speightstown???? Esplanade to Folkestone.

Route J covers St. Philip, and commences at the King George V Memorial Park and culminates at Foul Bay Beach.

Residents of St. Thomas taking Route K, the final route, will travel from the Natural heritage Department to Folkestone.

The NCC is urging various community organisations to come forward and take ownership of the particular walk in their parish, and has assured that police and emergency services will be on hand, and transportation provided back to various locations.

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