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More parks needed

Keith Neblett (left) and Patrick Todd share ruibbon-cutting duties with St. Mary’s students.

Keith Neblett (left) and Patrick Todd share ruibbon-cutting duties with St. Mary’s students.

The more open spaces there are for children, the better it will be for the community.

And it is incumbent on both Government and corporate Barbados to ensure that young people are given such avenues to exercise their bodies and build character through the establishment and adoption of parks and play areas.

It was the assertion made by both the General Manager of the National Conservation Commission Keith Neblett and incumbent for the City, Patrick Todd as they opened a play park in Emmerton, St. Michael this morning.

Neblett said that he was pleased to report there had been no damage or vandalism to the equipment, though adding that they had already had to replace the chains on the swings, proof that the children were making full use of the area.

In fact, he posited that it seemed also proof that a space such as this was needed and greatly appreciated by the children who used it, even as he noted that there were no other such parks in the area.

“We really need to get the children from being around in the homes and get them into open spaces. The closest park that kids can go with an open space in Queen’s Park, which is quite a distance, and we in the NCC recognise this.

Enjoying the new park.

Enjoying the new park.

“We are working with Community Development, the National Sports Council and also the Ministry of Family to establish these parks wherever we can, more particularly on crown lands. We’ve also made efforts to work with communities where they have open spaces, these are on private properties,” said Neblett.

“It is important for the kids to go out and play, especially in terms of problem solving because when you are growing up where you have to interact, what it does in the interim, is that it brings parents together… When we establish parks we see an increase in parents communicating with each other and that is what we need in Barbados,” he said.

Todd said there were hundreds of children in the City who looked forward to recreation spaces, adding that investment in the youth was an investment in the future.

In addition to supplying spaces for play, he said it also kept the youth active and away from negative elements that could lead to crime, while building community spirit.

Since the City had the highest concentration of businesses, he urged the corporate community to adopt parks and school to help with the creation and upkeep of areas, since Government could not do it alone.

“Bridgetown has the highest concentration of commercial entities in the country and therefore none of the schools, the community groups, should be starved of resources because I am sure the respective businesses are good corporate citizens and sometimes it is just a question of communication with the various organisations, such as schools, churches and community organisation so they can identify the needs of these institutions,” he said, adding that some businesses had adopted such offering scholarship but there was more that could be done. (LB)

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