JIS News

The St. Elizabeth Parish Council is moving to protect the historic Holland Bamboo grove from denudation and illegal vending activities.
In announcing the move at the monthly meeting of the Parish Council on June 11, His Worship the Mayor of Black River, Councillor Jeremy Palmer, said it is imperative that the local authority, which is the custodian of heritage sites in the parish, prevents the area from any further degradation.
“This is one of Jamaica’s most picturesque scenes, something that we have come to cherish for many generations, and the (vending) shacks will have to be removed. There are some things that must be sacred in Jamaica, some areas must remain outside the domain of vending,” the Mayor stated.
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Palmer informed reporters that the lands that surround Holland Bamboo are owned by the Commissioner of Lands, which has repeatedly given notices for persons to refrain from conducting vending along the strip and cutting the bamboo.
“Other than what is happening to the vegetation itself, there is degradation of the environment by the proliferation of shacks. A lot of people are building shops to sell all sorts of goods. Some have taken up residence there, and it is becoming unsightly, the area is being polluted and the bamboo is now an endangered heritage,” he stated.
In accepting a proposal from Councillor for the Lacovia Division, George Powell, to earmark an area along the strip for vending, the Mayor said that a meeting with other agencies will be convened to structure that arrangement.
“I have instructed the Secretary Manager of the Council, to put together a meeting with the National Lands Agency, the Tourism Product Development Company, and see to how we can preserve the environment. It won’t be a free for all; we have to put a break on what is happening,” he stated.
The three-mile long grove, located between Lacovia and Middle Quarters, is a famous visitor attraction. It features a photogenic archway of lush green bamboo plants, some growing up to 40 feet, which line both sides of the roadway, and meet in the air to form a canopy. The bamboo plants were planted by the owners of Holland Estate in the 17th Century to provide shade for workers from the St. Elizabeth sun.

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