By Alexis R. Milan
Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley introduced the newly-dubbed Seashore Children’s Park in the Buttonwood Bay area complete with a landmark Belize monument on Wednesday.
Bradley explained that the designation of the area as a children’s park came after the property was almost privatized last year. Since then, residents of the area have been engaged with the City Council to transform the land into an attractive public space for locals and tourists.
“Through co-operation with myself, the City Council and residents in this community, we made representations to the Lands Department. We had very active community individuals, Steven Perera, who led the way in making that representation so that they have agreed to leave this area as a public space,” Bradley said.
According to Bradley, the Council and the community decided that in order to keep the area as a public space, the best option was to enhance it by creating a family environment. The park now features a playground area for children, picnic tables, park benches and a repainted gazebo.
Bradley said trees are being planted all along the area as part of the enhancement and additional benches would be donated by community groups working along with the Council.
“We expect that in a reasonable period of time, we can get this area to look very good, where people will feel comfortable coming out,” Bradley said.
Belize Electricity Limited will also be installing additional lights in the area so the park is fully illuminated at night to create a safer environment.
Steven Perera, Buttonwood Bay resident, explained that after he made the initial design for the monument he contacted several contractors to make it a reality. Perera said that they wanted to create a structure that represented Belize but which was also as durable as possible.
The monument is made of solid concrete reinforced with steel. “The Belizean public or the tourists that come by can interact with the monument. They can climb on it, sit down on it and they can take photos with it as a nice souvenir to take back to their country,” Perera said.