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News Article

May 29, 2014
BNT seeks creation of five new national parks on San Salvador

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) is working with the San Salvador Living Jewels Foundation, a local conservation organization in San Salvador, to expand the national parks system to include five areas in San Salvador.
Two of these sites are Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) key biodiversity areas: Grahams Harbour and Cays, and the Southern Great Lake, important for nesting migratory seabirds and habitats for the critically endangered San Salvador rock iguana.
Jermaine Johnson, the BNT's education officer in San Salvador, has made a number of presentations at various schools on the island about the proposed national parks, and more recently, took students from the San Salvador Central High School on a tour, to provide more insight into the ecosystems in The Bahamas, and especially San Salvador. Nicole Brown, of the Caribbean Regional Implementation Team, also participated in the tour during her visit, where all were able to learn more about the various plants and animals found within the proposed park sites.
Johnson exclaimed, "Riveting is how I would describe the tours, as the kids were so intrigued about getting to see all of the things that they were taught about weeks before in the classroom. It's awesome when turtles greet the students as if saying 'yes, please help to protect me'."
In addition to presenting to students in San Salvador, the BNT has held meetings with fishermen, community leaders, senior government officials, local government representatives and business owners. The five areas in San Salvador that are proposed national parks are Southern Great Lake, Pigeon Creek and Snow Bay, Grahams Harbour, west coast dive sites and Green's Bay.
The CEPF Caribbean islands program is supporting the BNT's efforts to strengthen the legal protection status of these important areas. To learn more about the proposed national parks for San Salvador, visit BNT'S website at http://www.bnt.bs/_m1s893/Proposed-parks/San-Salvador-protected-areas.

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News Article

January 26, 2011
Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour, Bahamas National Trust and Local Artists Join Forces for Abaco National Parks

Abaco Beach Resort's

Art
for the Parks is a new partnership which brings together the Bahamas
National Trust and local artists to support the National Parks of Abaco. Art for the Parks will premiere on

January 30th
and 31st, 2010 at Abaco Beach Resort and the event promises to bring
some of Abaco's most talented artists and artisans together under one roof.

"We are delighted to partner with the Bahamas National Trust
with an event that will raise much needed funding for the five national parks
and protected areas that are in the Abacos.
Local artists approached us and the BNT with the idea of taking our
Annual Abaco Art Festival and turning it into a fundraiser for the national
parks," said Emmanuel Alexiou, Director Abaco Beach Resort...

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News Article

January 25, 2011
Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour, Bahamas National Trust and Local Artists Join Forces for Abaco National Parks

Abaco Beach Resort's

Art
for the Parks is a new partnership which brings together the Bahamas
National Trust and local artists to support the National Parks of Abaco. Art for the Parks will premiere on

January 30th
and 31st, 2010 at Abaco Beach Resort and the event promises to bring
some of Abaco's most talented artists and artisans together under one roof.

"We are delighted to partner with the Bahamas National Trust
with an event that will raise much needed funding for the five national parks
and protected areas that are in the Abacos.
Local artists approached us and the BNT with the idea of taking our
Annual Abaco Art Festival and turning it into a fundraiser for the national
parks," said Emmanuel Alexiou, Director Abaco Beach Resort...

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News Article

July 09, 2012
Summer theater in the parks

In cities around the world, summertime heralds in a slew of programs free and open to the public to enjoy arts and culture. From sculptural installations to craft fairs to plays and even dance lessons, the place for everyone to gather for these pastimes remains the same: local parks.
Now, a newly-formed theater group partnering up with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is bringing that same kind of programming to Nassau's public parks through the month of July by staging two powerful one-act plays by renowned playwright Tennessee Williams.
Director of the two plays, Leslie Vanderpool, is no stranger to public programming for the arts - as part of her successful venture the Bahamas International Film Festival, she's offered free public screenings of independent films in Rawson Square.
But this time, she goes back to her theatrical roots, setting her sights on taking traditional theater to communities that may never have experienced it before in order to instill a great love and appreciation for the arts.
"The inner city society is very hungry for positive programs and positive events like theatre in the park to provide a positive outlook, to enhance their lives and to provide dreams and a space where they feel they don't have to go far for positive entertainment," she said.
"Your hear all this talk about Urban Renewal - well, we want to be part of Urban Renewal," she added. "Not be a part of it in the way we have to align ourselves with anyone, but just in the way we want to be an initiative that contributes because we know it's the right thing."
Indeed, with a wide array of showtimes throughout July at Montagu Park (East Bay Street), Fox Hill Park (Fox Hill), Masons Addition Park and Sarah Ingraham Park (Centerville), the hour-long event will not only provide positive entertainment but also, the group hopes, a chance for young people especially to experience a creative outlet for their energy.
After all, studies again and again have shown that free creative and cultural programming to inner-city communities have effectively worked to combat violence and gang culture through offering positive outlets and developing critical thinking, socialization and emotional therapy.
"It's another avenue kids can take," said David Maycock, the actor who plays the male protagonist in one of the plays set to be performed. "There are so many other things they can do out there that are negative. If we go out there and perform for them it gives them a sense that there is more to life than sitting around on the blocks doing nothing."
"This helps them understand they can be something great in society - and not necessarily an actor," he added. "Once you show people that positive things are going on, they will want to be positive."
Maycock is just one of the four actors audiences can expect to see this July. The four faces will be new to the theater community, as all of them have never acted in a play before - and yet, director Vanderpool has been blown away by their talent. The four attended acting classes she offered earlier in the year, and when they were completed and the group wanted to continue, Vanderpool had them memorize one-act plays by Tennessee Williams.
"I tell them - acting classes are extremely important but once you get on your feet and you're actually doing a play in front of an audience, that's your real acting class," she said.
"I'm so impressed with them and their level of talent - they've never acted before - and can you imagine a little boy or little girl in these areas who is looking at them and thinks 'I want to be like them'?" she continued. "You just need a spark and it will continue. We don't know how the audience is going to react. It's an experimental piece, but the intention is to give that kind of feeling."
Indeed, the actors of the two plays by Tennessee Williams - "Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen" starring David Maycock and Stacey Stubbs and "This Property is Condemned" starring Cassandra Miller and Lorenz Wright - have changed their lives with acting and hope to impart upon their audiences that powerful shift.
For Cassandra Miller, acting gave her a chance to overcome shyness. From her character in "This Property is Condemned", a young girl trying to be a woman in difficult circumstances, she's found strength and hopes that her viewers will find it too.
"I think to become a character you have to become vulnerable, and becoming vulnerable is not easy," she said. "And I feel that being a part of these classes has really helped me to build my confidence and helped me realize there's something within me that I would never have been able to explore without this opportunity."
"I really hope this play speaks to young girls," she added. "The situation between my character and the young man in this play, it could really happen anywhere at any time in the world. I feel that young girls could look up to me when watching this. I'm a shy person but seeing me play something that requires me to be very open, maybe they can admire that and want to do it too."
In "Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen", Stacey Stubbs and David Maycock play a couple struggling with their relationship during the time of the great depression in the United States. They hope the play will offer a positive look at a time similar to now in financial struggle.
"I've learned a lot definitely, about expressing myself and interpreting the writer's words to give it meaning and to adapt it to the audience I'm speaking to so people can relate to the message," says Stacey Stubbs. "I hope that everyone who comes to see the play will be able to take back something positive from our performances."
"We are coming out of a financial crisis now, and I think some of the issues the characters face in the play in the same kind of climate are similar to issues people face today here - to the point where my character felt she had to escape from it all," Stubbs said. "The play shows us a better way to revolve situations of crisis - love rather than hate, reconciliation rather than tearing apart."
Most of all, they hope the evening instills in young viewers a sense of possibility through the power of creativity. It's that same realization David Maycock found in himself and that he hopes to pass on.
"Developing your skills gives you that desire and focus to just try to accomplish something," said Maycock. "So taking the classes gave me that sense of 'wow, I can actually become a great actor'."
"I think these kids do have it in them to value this, but they just don't have the opportunity to explore that," he added. "How can they know if they can be a great actor if they don't have that opportunity to explore those talents that are in them? So I think it's about giving them that opportunity, and then value will come along with it."
"Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen" starring David Maycock and Stacey Stubbs and "This Property is Condemned" starring Cassandra Miller and Lorenz Wright will both take place in Montagu Park, Easy Bay Street (Thursdays, July 12, 19 and 26 from 8-9 p.m.); Fox Hill Park, Fox Hill (Fridays, July 13, 20, and 27, 8-9 p.m.); Masons Addition Park, Grants Town (Saturdays, July 14, 21, and 28, 3-5 p.m.); and Sarah Ingraham Park, Centerville (Sundays, July 15, 22, and 29, 3-5 p.m.).  They are free and open to the public. For more information, call 356-5939.
 
 
 

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News Article

April 01, 2014
East End townships support proposed national park

MCLEAN'S TOWN, Grand Bahama - Last week Grand Bahama Parks Manager for the Bahama National Trust (BNT) Lakeshia Anderson met with local citizens of McLean's Town at a public meeting at McLean's Town Primary School.
In a crowded classroom the Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama Peter Turnquest; East End Administrator Sherrick Ellis; Eleanor Philips, director, Northern Caribbean Program of The Nature Conservancy (TNC); bonefish guides, tour operators, local fishermen and residents met to hear about the BNT's proposal to extend the Grand Bahama national park areas, and particularly to discuss the creation of an East Grand Bahama National Park.
Anderson addressed the crowd and explained the consultations they have been doing. "When the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park was designated a no-take park, we did not consult with the neighboring communities," she admitted. "But we have learned from our mistakes, and we have since established a process that involves resource users in the decision making process. We have held five prior meetings, and completed 150 one-on-one surveys in East End, and tonight we're back to discuss the input from the communities and research findings, and how these components have provided guidance for proposed boundaries."
Anderson went on to explain that the community made recommendations that certain areas known as conch beds, should be managed differently in what is currently proposed as a national park, and asked for restrictions on prime fishing grounds from large scale commercial fishing, and incompatible developments. "The feedback we have had from you is phenomenal," said Anderson. "It was with the assistance of local fishermen and bonefish guides, that our team was able to assess the immense diversity in the East End flats that is truly unique." Anderson noted that representatives from the National Audubon Society have recently conducted shorebird and waterbird surveys in this area, and are planning to return for further work.
Anderson showed the attendees the proposed park boundaries, and opened the floor for questions. Questions were posed regarding the proposed sand dredging for the Bursus Cay area. Administrator Ellis responded by stating, "The East End Local Government Council has written to the government opposing the proposed dredging, and to request an environmental impact assessment be conducted, in which the BEST Commission and BNT officials should then review,".
At this point, a young local fishing guide asked if the park could be extended to include Bursus Cay and surrounding environment. Anderson said this was up to the community to provide these recommendations. Others quickly chimed in and asked Anderson to include the area from McLean's Town to Bursus Cay, as this shallow flats area is known to have an abundance of birds and commercially important species of fish. Local fisherman Cecil Leathern said, "We all know what will happen if this dredging is allowed; how it could destroy not only the bonefish flats and our lobster grounds, but also affect them down in Abaco. We need it all protected."
Leathern and others also lamented fisheries protection, noting that this park will need proper governance of current regulations and new ones. Speaking on this, Eleanor Philips of TNC said she and others are hoping to create a Bahamas protected area fund that will provide some of the funding needed for effective management of protected areas in The Bahamas. "I am so impressed with the turnout tonight, and the awareness and passion this community has for their environment. We will do all we can to advocate for protecting these areas they alo feel are so important to their way of life."
Before the meeting concluded, local bonefish guide and minister Omeko Glinton addressed the attendees. "We want to protect our bonefish industry here," said Glinton. "I want to commend the BNT and others for what you are doing here. You've come in and spoken to us, helped educate us and listened to us. I know I need to feed my son, but I also understand I need to protect what we have for him and our children. My thanks for helping us do this."
The BNT will include the recommendations provided through the meeting regarding amendments to the proposed boundaries, and will have discussions with the residents of Sweetings Cay on this matter. A petition will be developed to provide the communities an opportunity to express their support for these proposed national parks, for inclusion in the park proposal to be submitted to government. The details of all the BNT proposed parks including East Grand Bahama are available on the BNT website www.bnt.bs.

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News Article
BNT proposes more national parks for Abaco
September 11, 2013
BNT proposes more national parks for Abaco

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and several other special interest groups are seeking to expand the number of national parks in Abaco.

Recently a meeting was held with Renardo Curry, MP for North Abaco, to discuss these proposals.

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News Article

December 05, 2010
Letter: Let's take back our basketball parks

EDITOR, The Tribune.

Our Bahamaland is in crisis. Crime is rampant and some of our young people are seemingly lost in a world uf decadence and deviant behaviour.

But there is hope for a change and we can start by taking back our basketball parks.

These basketball parks that are in our communities should be safe zones, but as they are now they are very unsafe. A basketball game sometimes turns into a fight amongst the players, people use foul language and play music spouting foul lyrics and there's the smoking of tobacco and marijuana cigarettes and the open consumption of alcoholic beverages.

I say it's high time we the people become brave enough to take back our basketball parks. ...

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News Article

August 06, 2014
The ultimate summer vacation -- 6 parks in one area!

ABACO, Bahamas -- With summer quickly coming to a close and back-to-school just around the corner, you're probably looking for a great way to spend the last few days with your kids.
Well look no further, here's the perfect idea for a last minute family vacation-- visit any of the six Abaco national parks! Come get up close and personal with nature's breathtaking wonders by island hopping from Abaco's mainland to the various cays.
Begin your adventure at The Abaco National Park, located in Southern Abaco and is easily accessible by car out of Marsh Harbour towards Sandy Point. With over 20,500 acres of pine forest this park is rich in biodiversity and offers a number of trails for hiking, and bird watching.
Kids can see and learn about the many species of birds including the endangered Bahama Parrot, indigenous to Abaco. Visitors need to contact the BNT Abaco office in advance to organize a guided tour with the park warden.
Known for its outstanding beauty, showcased through its wild and pristine natural environment, Tilloo Cay Reserve is approximately 7 miles southeast from Marsh Harbour. The park, though small in size is an important nesting site and breeding ground for White-tailed Tropicbirds, as well as other sea birds. Difficult to access the parks birdlife is best viewed by boat.

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News Article

July 08, 2011
PM announces Parks Canada Youth Ambassadors Program

Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the creation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Parks Canada Youth Ambassadors Program, a special gift in honour of the couple's first Royal Tour of Canada and to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of Parks Canada. The program will inspire young Canadians from
across the country to enjoy Canada's great outdoors.

"Canada is blessed with unparalleled natural beauty," said the Prime
Minister. "This program will see youth ambassadors travelling across the
country to promote our magnificent national parks. The gift will
remind The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of the time they spent here
together enjoying Canada's natural wonders...

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News Article

May 18, 2011
GB Parks sparkles in Georgia State play

Kyle Parks is a 14-year-old Grand Bahamian who is impressive to all who observe him on the mound for Darlington School’s boys’ varsity team.
The former outstanding performer in local action, who came into his own during the Pony League Caribbean Tourney, is being heavily counted on to help carry his school to state prominence.
Darlington School is a boarding institution attended by coeds who roam the campus in Rome, Georgia. Parks and his teammates made it to the Elite Eight in the State Championship and last evening (too late for our press deadline), they met Hebron Christian in hopes of taking the series and advancing to the semi-final round.
Parks is a mound sensation but can be ...

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News Article

November 29, 2010
Taking back our basketball parks

Dear Editor,

Our Bahamaland is in crisis. Crime is rampant and some of our young people are seemingly lost in a world decadence and deviant behavior. But there is hope for a change and we can start by taking back our basketball parks.
These basketball parks that are in our communities should be safe zones but as they are now they are very unsafe. A basketball game sometimes turns into a fight amongst the players, people use foul language and play music spouting foul lyrics and there's the smoking of tobacco and marijuana cigarettes and the open consumption of alcoholic beverages.
I say it's high time we the people become brave enough to take back our basketball parks. How? What we ...

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News Article

November 05, 2010
BNT Responds To Call for Ban on National Parks Development

The Bahamas National Trust issued the following response to an article calling for a ban on development within national parks, printed in The Tribune on October 29.

Notwithstanding our firm commitment to the protection of our natural resources, the Bahamas National Trust holds the view that there is a distinct and fundamental difference between the unrestricted exploitation of public resources within a national park and the acceptance of reasonable access for non-commercial use of private property.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, of which the Bahamas National Trust is a longstanding member, national parks are protected areas "managed to achieve the long...

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News Article

November 19, 2011
State of parks and streets 'can contribute to crime'

By CELESTE NIXON
Tribune Staff Reporter
cnixon@tribunemedia.net

PLP MP Fred Mitchell claims that the degraded state of community parks and streets can contribute to criminal activity.
In a press conference held yesterday in Fox Hill’s community park, Mr Mitchell, MP for the area, said the government’s “inability” to keep communities clean is not only a health risk, but a safety issue for Bahamians.
“When the environment in a neighbourhood is not kept within acceptable limits this feeds crime and anti-social behaviour,” said Mr Mitchell.
“A major complaint of constituents is the inability of the government to keep the parks properly ...

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News Article

January 15, 2013
Art for the Parks Abaco event - January 25 - 27

Art for the Parks Abaco
is in support of the National Parks of Abaco and will take place over
three days: Friday, 25th January, 6pm - 9pm;  Saturday, 26th January,
10am - 6pm; and Sunday, 27th January, 11am - 3pm.

The event will be held at the Abaco Beach Resort, Marsh Harbour.

For more information, contact Kadie Mills, BNT Abaco office

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News Article

January 10, 2013
Art For The Parks Abaco Event - January 25 - 27

Art for the Parks Abaco is in support of the National Parks of Abaco and will take place over three days: Friday, 25th January, 6pm - 9pm;  Saturday, 26th January, 10am - 6pm; and Sunday, 27th January, 11am - 3pm.

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News Article

January 21, 2013
Art For The Parks Abaco Event - January 25 - 27

Art for the Parks Abaco is in support of the National Parks of Abaco and will take place over three days: Friday, 25th January, 6pm - 9pm;  Saturday, 26th January, 10am - 6pm; and Sunday, 27th January, 11am - 3pm.

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News Article

January 13, 2013
Art for the Parks Abaco event - January 25 - 27

Art for the Parks Abaco
is in support of the National Parks of Abaco and will take place over
three days: Friday, 25th January, 6pm - 9pm;  Saturday, 26th January,
10am - 6pm; and Sunday, 27th January, 11am - 3pm.

The event will be held at the Abaco Beach Resort, Marsh Harbour.

For more information, contact Kadie Mills, BNT Abaco office

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News Article

January 23, 2013
Art for the Parks Abaco event - January 25 - 27

Art for the Parks Abaco
is in support of the National Parks of Abaco and will take place over
three days: Friday, 25th January, 6pm - 9pm;  Saturday, 26th January,
10am - 6pm; and Sunday, 27th January, 11am - 3pm.

The event will be held at the Abaco Beach Resort, Marsh Harbour.

For more information, contact Kadie Mills, BNT Abaco office

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News Article

July 04, 2012
Free Summer Theatre in the Parks Series starts next week

Nassau, Bahamas - Beginning Thursday, July 12th, 2012,

Summer Theatre in the Parks presents two performances of two 1-Act plays by Tennessee Williams entitled

"This Property is Condemned" and

"Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen",
both directed by Leslie Vanderpool, Founder & Executive Director of
the Bahamas International Film Festival.

Performances are FREE of
charge and will be staged in four different Nassau parks at the times
listed in the graphic featured here...

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News Article

June 18, 2014
Two new national parks for Grand Bahama

FREEPORT - The creation of two national parks in East Grand Bahama, the Gap Marine National Park and the East Grand Bahama National Park, got the overwhelming support of residents of the area and stakeholders attending a townhall meeting in Pelican Point on June 5. During this meeting, government ministers dispelled the concerns of local fishermen that the areas proposed by the country's three major conservationist organizations would be declared a "no-take zone", effectively prohibiting fishing.
Minister of the Environment and Housing Kenred Dorsett said the areas being proposed will be given special protection so that fishing, diving, boating and other recreational/commercial activities will be allowed.
Dorsett, Minister for Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville and Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government V. Alfred Gray all gave East Grand Bahama residents and others in attendance at the townhall meeting a clear understanding of what is being proposed.
The proposals advanced by non-governmental organizations the Bahamas National Trust, the Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation (BREEF) and The Nature Conservancy following earlier consultancy and discussions with East End residents that yielded the boundaries that are expected to be forwarded to the government as a part of a Grand Bahama Marine Protected Area.
The North Shore - The Gap National Park
This proposed area is approximately 280,000 acres, and Grand Bahamians know this area as "The Gap". This name dates back to the 1950s at North Riding Point, when the pulpwood loading terminal was constructed.
Workers and their families lived at a logging camp community of 200 homes near the terminal, and this community of residences became known as "The Gap". Although these settlers dispersed at the end of the logging period, the area has retained the name to this day. The physical attributes of The Gap consist of mangrove wetlands, tidal creeks, sand and mud flats, beach strand and rocky shores, blue holes and unexplored karst cave system northeast of Dover Sound.
Fifty percent of the land within the park is owned by the Grand Bahama Development Company and the Grand Bahama Port Authority. Beyond the boundaries of Freeport is the government-owned land. Water Cay is the only inhabited area in this proposed site, however, the waters surrounding this cay are earmarked for protection.
East Grand Bahama National Park
This area is located south of Sweetings' Cay and spans over 12,500 acres. Many fishing habitats exist because of the tidal creeks in the area. The cited area possesses mangrove forests, an offshore reef system, explored blue hole systems and an undisturbed underground karst system.
Recently, a rapid ecological assessment was completed in the area by the Bahamas National Trust that generated biological information on the health of the marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the areas important for bonefish.

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