Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley; Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, John King; Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod and senior public officers look over plans for the 254-acre National Botanical Gardens during a visit to Waterford on Monday. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Barbadians at home and abroad will get an opportunity to assist in building out the 254-acre National Botanical Gardens.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley stressed the importance of Barbadians participating in this national project on Monday evening, saying that Barbadians living here and those coming in 2020 would be able to contribute to the garden.

Ms. Mottley made the comments after touring the botanical gardens, in Waterford, St. Michael, with Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, John King; Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod; a number of senior public officers and members of the media.

The MQI/98.1 The One Soca Monarch Final will be held on Sunday, July 28, at the National Botanical Gardens, and the Prime Minister was updated on the preparations for the upcoming event.

She told the media: “This garden creates this huge place that allows Barbadians of all backgrounds to know that they can find peace, recreation, exercise and entertainment … in this area.”

She added that an international garden would be created utilizing 200 acres, from the right side of the highway going to Sky Mall.  She continued: “We are inviting foreign governments and friends of Barbados to take parts of it and to have representation of gardens that reflect their own country and their own culture….

“In Morocco, because they have been accustomed to water scarcity for over a millennium, they have a completely different approach to plants and gardening.  So,  in every instance, we are going to try and find representation so that we can bring the world to Barbados in these botanical gardens…. We have talked to Morocco about taking five hectares, and we are starting to ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to bring in all of the governments with whom we have strong diplomatic relations to see if they are willing to participate.”

Ms. Mottley said the botanical gardens was a wonderful area, with a natural amphitheatre and suggested that various events, including children’s parties, could be held there.

When asked by the media if events would ever be staged again at East Coast, the Prime Minister said a number of things would have to be done, especially since there were issues within the Scotland District.

“The Government is now trying to see how we can put together a coherent plan, but that is not a tomorrow plan or next year plan….  Once we can do that and put in the services on the East Coast and stabilize the grounds, I would like very much, at some point in the next few years, not necessarily to see it for this Crop Over event, but to have that East Coast venue made available for other local and international events because it is too spectacular a site for us to abandon and not to do anything with,” she surmised.

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