Help us save our green spaces

first_imgDear Editor,Several events over the last year got me thinking in a deeper way about Georgetown’s green spaces, especially its trees. It began with conceptualizing a five-year Strategic Plan for Constituency 14, which included the preservation of our green spaces and our trees.This was eclipsed by Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan’s and Central Government’s Tree Planting Programme. And sadly, more recently, my thoughts turned to the brutality and ecological destruction of our green spaces in the city, the Bel Air Park Playground and the possibility of similar actions on the Farnum Playground.The Botanical Gardens has a catalogue of over 288 plants, including numerous trees. My research yielded no such record for the city proper. At the city level, it is evident that we don’t have an appreciation for what Smart Cities Dive’s online article, “Two New Tools for Planning a Healthy Urban Canopy” points out, “Trees are a vital part of urban communities, providing social, environmental, and economic benefits”.There used to be a great tree in Georgetown where the monument to the conservation of sea turtles now stands in the vicinity of Pegasus Hotel; at least two huge trees fell on Main Street over the last year, and I remember another on Merriman’s Mall.Additionally, there used to be trees, among other places, around Bounty Supermarket on Orange Walk and Regent Street. After the store was rebuilt, the trees disappeared. And likewise many home builders rid parapets of trees, seeing them as obstructions, and with a chainsaw or cutlass wiped out whole ecosystems. In Constituency 14 we use to have Eucalyptus trees lining Aubrey Barker Road. Now most are gone.Similarly, last year I came across a post on Facebook by the New Amsterdam Mayor and Town Council. The post read, “Why was the decades old tree in Esplanade Park Cut down?” It went on to state, “The tree was infested with bees, and sessions at the High Court and at the All Saints’ Primary School were frequently interrupted when the insects became agitated. Athletes who use the Park on a daily basis were also affected.”The M&TC granted permission to the Region 6 RDC to cut down the tree since hives were discovered in the hollow trunk of the tree. It was such a noble gesture by the municipality to think of the welfare of its citizens, but I keep wondering, in the delicate ecological balance that is life, if more could not be done to save the tree.We have to save our city from callous hands, people who pay only lip service to Government’s Green Agenda, who wouldn’t think twice to raze an urban forest to needlessly build a house or two for themselves. God save us, and help us save our green spaces.Sincerely,Sherod Avery DuncanCity Councillorlast_img

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