JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding visited the Blue Hole Nature Park in South St. James today (May 25), and spent quality time getting involved in Labour Day activities including handing out trees to students and planting fruit and food trees on the 1200-acre nature reserve.
The Blue Hole Nature Park was one of six Labour Day projects across the country that was given national focus this year.
Activities, which got underway at 8:00 a.m. with over 200 volunteers participating, were carried out under the National theme “Ketch the Vibes: Volunteerism, Intervention, Beautification, Empowerment for Success”.
Prime Minister Golding quickly put to rest any notion of political division on the issue.
“Remember this concept of putting work into Labour Day was introduced by the late Prime Minister Michael Manley back in 1972. It was sustained during the 80s when we were in power, and it is being sustained today,” Mr. Golding said.
“There was some misunderstanding with the selection of the National Labour Day projects, but what we really intend to do, as Minister Grange has pointed out… We normally have one Labour Day project, nationally, and what we want to do is to decentralise it, so the intention is to have a national Labour Day project in every parish,” he explained.
The Prime Minister said that the Government hopes to be able to get people of all walks of life, and from all political persuasions, to come together and collaborate around the projects.
“This year we have six. Next year, we hope to have fourteen, and then when Portmore becomes a parish, we will have fifteen projects,” he added.
After planting the fruit trees in a reserved plot, the Prime Minister, who was accompanied by other Government officials, handed a Guava plant to an excited Sasha-Kay Doman, student of Roehampton Primary School, who lives, with her parents, in the Blue Hole community.
Chairman of the South St. James Development Trust, which has responsibility for the management and sustainability of the Park, Calvin G. Brown, told JIS News that the main targets set by the committee for Labour Day activities on the property were met.
“Today marks the start of the redevelopment of the Blue Hole Nature Park, and we want to thank Minister Grange for making this property one of the National projects,” Mr. Brown said.
“Today, what we did was to clean up the park. We also did quite a bit of replanting, planted fruit and lumber trees and we had teams of youngsters who went around and literally swept the park,” Mr. Brown noted.
He also expressed his pleasure at the turn-out and thanked “all those who came and did their part in ensuring that the Blue Hole Nature Park is returned to its former glory.”
He promised to ensure that the work on the park continues beyond Labour Day.
There are plans to redevelop and re-establish the Botanical Gardens which once existed in the Park which was damaged by hurricane several years ago.

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