Residents of Douglin Road, Weston, St. James, will have a new park and community green space compliments of the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification’s National Clean and Green Initiative.
Personnel from the Sanitation Service Authority and the National Conservation Commission moved into the district early this morning to clear a parcel of land, which will be the home of the park when it is completed.
Minister of Environment, Adrian Forde, said the teams from his Ministry would work assiduously to ensure the much-need community park came to fruition, adding that it would be named after one of the community leaders in the district.
As the clean-up got under way for what would be the fifth area to be cleared as part of the initiative, Mr. Forde issued a warning to prospective illegal dumpers this Christmas season.
“Those over the yuletide season who continue to dump illegally, who continue to disgrace this country, I am saying that you will not be the ‘grinch’ that ruin Christmas for the entire country, and certainly for me as Minister of the Environment. I will have my Christmas gift when I see you before the law courts,” he stated.
Representative for St. James North, Edmund Hinkson, was on hand to witness the start of the cleaning up of the space, which will be beautified with plants, flowers and outfitted with benches.
He said the close-knit Douglin Road community, needed an oasis where they could go to relax, recharge, interact and feel safe.
Residents, Marcia Jordan, owner of Marcy’s Bar and Grill, and young mother, Shannah Mayers, said they welcomed the addition of the park and green space.
“We already had a park here, but it fell into ruin because the community just fell apart and we didn’t have enough crews to clean it. So, we are glad that the Ministry of Environment has come in and we can build back our park. This can help the kids in the area because we don’t want the kids running about on the streets.
“We need to get them back in the park so they can play. We also want to get a small greenhouse for the kids, so they can plant vegetables. And if we can ask our Minister to give us some books so that when the children are on vacation we can get them to come in the park and sit and read; do crossword puzzles…. I would get involved with them and we will help maintain the park,” Ms. Jordan said.
Ms. Mayers said she was excited about having a safe space in which her two-year-old son could play.
“I am very grateful to you guys coming out here to beautify the place and make it more kid-friendly, to bring back a little life into the community. I was very resistant to raising a child in this neighbourhood, especially a son, when I look around…it is just a very stagnant area right now. It has a lot of potential, but we just need help. I am very excited about this project. If you need a hand just knock on my door and I will gladly come out and assist,” she stated.
The last district earmarked for the Clean and Green Initiative for 2020 will be Church Village, St. Philip, this Friday, December 11.