Trinidad Government to develop Heritage Parks

Port of Spain – The Trinidad Government has allocated TT$1 million under the Infrastructure Development Fund to develop a national system of Heritage Parks throughout Trinidad.

At least one heritage park will be developed in each of the 14 Municipal Corporations in the first phase of the plan. In his 2005-2006 Budget statement Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, said these parks will encourage exploration and conservation of the cultural resources of each municipality.

The parks will provide opportunities for community focused recreation, history and lifestyle. Over the years knowledge of community history and culture has been lowered and many ecosystems that provide unique community habitat for plants and animals have been lost. Important environmental benefits such as flood control, groundwater recharge and soil stabilization cannot, therefore, be derived. In a modern context, the community parks will also serve as an important aesthetic, recreational and community resource.

The Chaguaramas Development Authority is establishing a National Heritage Park and Cultural Village in Chaguaramas and other proposed parks will be located in Diego Martin, San Juan/Laventille, Sangre Grande, Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo, Princes Town, Penal/Debe, Siparia,Tunapuna/Piarco, Chaguanas, Mayaro/Rio Claro and Point Fortin.

In re-creating the natural heritage to provide high-quality outdoor recreation and leisure, the Ministry of Local Government will work to develop the parks in conjunction with the Municipal Corporations and six other Ministries – Community Development, Sport and Youth Affairs, Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources, Energy and Energy Industries, Tourism and Public Utilities and the Environment.

The Local Government Ministry is also conscious of the need for greater community involvement, participation and awareness as well as mechanisms to help citizens understand how their communities developed over the years and the reason for several of the activities and existing arrangements.

Heritage Parks will be used to create awareness of the historical development of communities. The Parks will also highlight the cultural, economic, social, political and sporting history of each community as well as promote local tourism and eco-tourism in Trinidad and Tobago.

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