Heavy equipment was used to move mounds of rubble and compact a new surface for parking, but since then the majority of work at Heritage Beach has been by hand.
About 30 pairs of hands contributed to the site’s improvement on Saturday. All were volunteers responding to a request for help from the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. The majority came from Goldman Sachs (Cayman) Trust Ltd.
Goldman Sachs employees were taking part in the international firm’s Community TeamWorks programme, which since 1997 has encouraged participation in projects of benefit to the community.
Mr. Andrew Gresham, co-ordinator for the Cayman team, said Goldman Sachs has about 30,000 employees worldwide; of that number, 15-20,000 take part in Community TeamWorks projects.
Locally, 20 staff members gave up their Saturday morning, making up two-thirds of the work party that helped transform Heritage Beach from the wreck it had been because of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
While some people dug a trench to separate the car park from the sandy beach, others reclaimed rocks from mounds of sand. The rocks were then placed in the trench as a visual barrier. Other rocks were used to enclose planting areas and repair the wall along the roadside.
Seagrape trees were planted the length of the parking lot. Other areas were brightened up with spider lilies, thatch palms, cordia and mahogany – all naturally occurring on Grand Cayman.
There was one unexpected moment when a Goldman Sachs team member found a set of wires connected by a white tube-type device, which he thought might be a dynamite blasting cap.
Coincidentally, an electrical engineer was among the other volunteers. Victor Mirea, who came to Cayman about a month and joined Alba Electrical, confirmed the object’s identity. He agreed with others at the scene that it probably was not live, but he took custody and said he would see it was properly disposed of.
National Trust general manager Frank Roulstone, who organised the work plan and took part in it, expressed his thanks to everyone who came and made the morning so productive. He explained that cabanas will be built on the beach to provide more shade and seating.
Heritage Beach is located in the district of East End, not far past Frank Sound Road.
According to the website of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Adams of the former Cayman Heritage Trust donated the property so that it could be held forever for the people of the Cayman Islands under the National Trust Law, 1987.
The property is .87 acre. About half is on the inland side of the road and contains a small woodland.