JIS News

The rehabilitation of Bath Botanical Gardens in St. Thomas is the national project for Labour Day 2007, which will be observed on May 23 under the theme: ‘Honouring Our Ancestors.Strengthening Communities’.
Chairman of the Project Sub-committee of the National Labour Day Secretariat, Dorothea Clarke told JIS News that the national project was quite fitting with this year’s theme, since it has a strong heritage component, being the second oldest botanical garden in the western hemisphere.
Miss Clarke said that the scope of work would entail the cleaning-up and beautification of the gardens and surrounding areas; the creation of storyboards to highlight the significance of the plants and a healing garden with legal medicinal herbs and plants.In addition, there would be replanting of trees and plants that were originally in the gardens, repairing of the perimeter fence, and constructing walkways and a wishing well.
The Chairman also informed that repairs would be done to the bathroom facilities, benches and gazebo at the gardens, along with the painting of kerbed walls. “We just want to do a general beautification of the gardens to make them appealing and a place that people would want to visit, not only just to see the trees but to relax in an oasis of peace and tranquility,” Miss Clarke pointed out.
The Bath Botanical Gardens were established by the government in 1779. Many of the exotic plants introduced to Jamaica were first planted there, including the jacaranda, bougainvillea, mango, cinnamon, breadfruit, jackfruit and croton, which was used to mark the ancestors’ graves.
Plants have also been supplied by the gardens to Kew Gardens in London and the British Museum of Natural History, which was founded with a collection of Jamaican plants.
Suggested parish and community projects to mark the day include: the cleaning-up of historic cemeteries; beautifying national heritage sites; repairing monuments; and cleaning-up and refurbishing community centres, schools and churches.
The National Labour Day project for last year was the beautification of Water Square in the historic town of Falmouth, Trelawny and included landscaping, painting and the erection of signs.

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