The newly developed Botanical Gardens at Waterford, St Michael, to be opened by yearend, will be unlike anything ever seen before on the island, the Prime Minister has declared.
Barbadians are to get their first real glimpse of the gardens when the Soca Monarch calypso competition is staged there later this month.
The gardens are to cover the entire stretch of land on the former Waterford, Belle and Codrington plantations west of the ABC Highway.
Speaking to reporters just after a tour of the grounds ahead of the Crop Over event, Prime Minister Mottley said: “For many of us, when we were children, Queens Park was the only place we could go with a lot of grass where you were free to run around. It looked big then, but it looks really small now, and even King George the Fifth Park looks small, so where can we take children now so they can enjoy a lot of open space?
“We are planning to create a space where Barbadians can come and socialise, relax, and meditate, and ideally I want to see this aspect of the project completed by December this year.”
She noted that the land on the western side of “Waterford Boulevard”, the main road which stretches from the Norman Niles Roundabout on the ABC Highway to Waterford Bottom, would add a new dimension to the Botanical Gardens as Government wanted to bring an international flavour to it.
The Prime Minister said: “We want to bring the world to Barbados in these botanical gardens and create a sense of the world for all Barbadians. So we are planning to work with foreign governments and ask them to participate in creating a global garden.
“They can take parts of this land and have representations of gardens that reflect their own country and culture. For example, you immediately know a Chinese or Japanese garden when you see it, while a country like Morocco has a completely different approach owing to the fact that it has been a water-scarce country for a millennium.”
Mottley said Government had already spoken to Morocco about overseeing five hectares of the land, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been tasked with raising the matter with diplomatic representatives here. She also spoke about bicycle trails on the inside and outside of the gardens, along with wrought iron lamp-posts all around the perimeter to highlight the craftsmanship of Barbadians.