Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley planting a tree to mark the launch of the competition while Nigel Jones, dendrologist and Director of the National Botanical Gardens, looks on

Launch of Mini-Parks, Gardens Competition takes place

Saturday morning marked the launch of the 2017 Mini-Parks and Garden competition, an integral part of the Community Independence Cele-brations programme.

Speaking at the launch, which was held at Barbados Botanical Gardens, Ruth Blackman, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth revealed that since the competition’s inception, Barbadians have had the opportunity to utilise their physical surroundings as a way to celebrate national pride and promote community spirit.

“This direct involvement is based on the mission – “to instill a sense of environmental responsibility within each community and to maintain our tradition of environmental friendliness,” she said.

Blackman explained that to this end, areas which have been overwhelmed by bush and debris have been transformed into areas for recreation and spaces of tranquility and noted that the manipulation of the natural surroundings through “the creative imaginings of participants has continued to leave the judges in awe as they judged the input of all participants.”

She noted that the Mini-Parks and Garden competition was opened to the general public who were either land owners or have been given permission to use the particular space used in developing the project.

Meanwhile, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley explained that the competition was initially confined to the development of Mini Parks within the community but noted that it had shifted over time in recognition of the importance of promoting self-sufficiency as far as food production was concerned.

“It was felt that much could be achieved if this awareness started at a community level and it is against such a background that the Kitchen Garden component of the competition was introduced,” he said.

He went on to say that the launch of the competition coincidentally coincides with the celebration of Environment Month, which is led by the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, as well as Heritage Month which the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth is currently celebrating to mark the sixth anniversary of the Inscription of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison as a World Heritage Property.

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