An ordinary Sunday in Jessamine Avenue, Bayland, St Michael turned into a day of hard work and strong demonstration of community spirit as more than 20 residents got together to transform the area.
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for St Michael South, Kirk Humphrey was on hand at the cleanup and told Barbados TODAY the project was driven by the community itself, after residents decided that “enough is enough”.
“This area is a play park but you wouldn’t be able to tell because it has been overrun by bush. So the community decided that they wanted to make it look like a play park and I’m just supporting the cause,” he said.
“The fact that people came together to make a difference in their own community dispels the myth
that people are only looking for handouts and are not willing to work,” he added, describing the constituency
as a beautiful community which had been allowed to run to ruin.
Humphrey said that having green spaces in a community was important.
“For a community like this that is relatively compact with many houses and very few play areas, a project like this is important because there needs to be a space where the children can come and play. It is also nice to have an open space where residents can gather, and communities like this that are very urban often lack green spaces,” the political hopeful said.
The focus after the cleanup effort, Humphrey said, would be on increasing sporting activity in the area.
“The Bayland has been known for years for its sporting activities and we want to bring that back. There is a basketball court and road tennis court here. We recently sponsored a road tennis tournament but at the time the lights were not working, so we are looking at fixing that as well as repairing the fencing which is all broken down,” he explained.
Project coordinator Roshanna Trim described some of the green spaces in the area as a health hazard.
“The park in Jessamine, in particular, was inaccessible as it was full of grass and harbouring centipedes, mosquitoes, and there is even a hive of bees there which we are getting removed,” she lamented.
She told Barbados TODAY the cleanup initiative would be expanded into other areas of the community.
“We started in the Bayland, here at Jessamine Avenue, but we are going to Brittons Hill, we are going to Chelston, and we intend to clean up the entire constituency instead of depending on any government agency to do it,” she said.
The aim is to not only beautify St Michael South but to build community spirit as well.