General Manager of the National Conservation Commission, Keith Neblett (far right), points out some of the plants being cultivated in the NCC’s greenhouse to Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe.  Also pictured (third from left) is Permanent Secretary Lionel Weekes and other Ministry officials.

The National Conservation Commission (NCC) has come in for high praise for being in the forefront of sustainable development as it relates to the greening of Barbados.

The kudos came from Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, who said that its “marks have been left across Barbados relative to the management and maintenance of designated green spaces.”

The Minister’s comments came as he and other Ministry officials toured NCC headquarters, the Bath Beach facility and other ongoing projects in the north of the island.

Complimenting management and staff for outstanding work done over the years, Minister Lowe said they were encouraging the Commission to “move deeper” within communities to look at integrating green spaces, which had been so designated by developers.

“Of course if you understand their mandate it  would not  have ordered them to go beyond those spaces designated as Government-owned spaces. But they have been so successful in their efforts, and they’ve made such an impact on Barbados that we believe that it is absolutely important for them to move into those areas,” he explained.

Noting that the NCC had embarked on a number of very important capital works programmes anchored with the Bath Beach facility, Dr. Lowe said that project was well under way and, hopefully, should be completed in time for next week’s Errol Barrow Day celebrations. The Minister also cited the refurbishment of the restaurant (snackette/bar) at Barclays Park, St. Andrew, which is expected to commence this month, as well as the construction of a Gazebo at King George V Memorial Park in St. Philip and lifeguard towers at Almond Beach, St. Peter and Worthing Beach, Christ Church.

In terms of recreational development, the Environment Minister said the Commission would be installing new equipment to upgrade a number of play parks by the end of this financial year. These, he said, include: the Errol Barrow Park, St. Michael; Bath and Gall Hill, St. John; Lammings, St. Joseph; Ellerton, St. George and the King George V Memorial Park, St. Philip. The Commission will also be undertaking the upgrade of the Hastings Rocks facility in collaboration with the Coastal Zone Management Unit.

Pledging Government’s commitment to continued funding for the Commission, especially in light of several West Coast projects which were also slated to come on stream, Dr. Lowe commended the agency for its “well-integrated programme”, which, according to him, captured the needs of seniors as well as the youth, and fitted in with the Ministry’s overarching vision.

“We want to advance the well-being of our citizens, we want to bequeath to the next generation a society that is stronger socially, that is well protected environmentally and that is progressive in all aspects of living; that is our drive.”

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