Volunteers pitch in to clean up

Members of the Beautification Committee and volunteers were out in full force across Grand Cayman over the last two weekends of October cleaning up, planting trees and making improvements to homes, communities and public spaces.

‘With the work we have done during October, we have started something wonderful for Cayman,’ Committee Chairperson Heather Bodden said in a press release.

‘I urge persons to continue this focus on civic pride so it becomes a way of life.’

October was observed as Beautification Month under the theme, Let’s Keep Cayman Clean and Green.

In West Bay, about 20 residents joined committee members, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the Department of Environmental Health staff in removing overgrowth, debris and garbage from Goat Yard, located at the corner of Boatswain Road and Northwest Point Road.

Sgt. Winsome Prendergast said the area was identified for cleanup by the residents. ‘They felt that they needed to clean up this area for themselves, but also because Goat Yard is located along the bus route for visitors travelling to Boatswain’s Beach,’ she explained.

Emphasising the link between cleanliness and law enforcement, Sgt. Prendergast noted that drug paraphernalia and a knife were among the items found during the cleanup.

Alice Mae Coe, the committee’s deputy chair who also supervised beautification efforts in West Bay, praised district residents for taking ownership of their community. She noted that last weekend, residents also painted the wall along Boggy Sand Road.

In George Town, the cleanup effort was concentrated along Sound Way as committee members supervised persons who operated grabber trucks to remove large, old appliances and household effects. Cleanup was also done in other parts of the city.

‘Earlier in the week, we asked people to put out their garbage,’ said committee member Aston Ebanks. ‘Old bicycles, toilets and a mattress were among the items we found here,’ he said

Committee member Angela Graham said arrangements have been made to begin removing old cars that were in a scavenger yard. ‘We have sprayed the old cars with orange paint, in order to indicate the ones that are to be removed.’

In Savannah-Newlands, Dominique Powell landscaped the area near the bus stop at Tall Tree. ‘We want to return some shade to Savannah,’ Mr. Powell said. ‘We will be planting some poinciana, Christmas palm, coconut and sea grape trees.’

Last Sunday, committee members from Bodden Town and volunteers from Pricewaterhouse Coopers cleaned up Coewood Beach, and planted palm trees.

Reclaiming the community’s pride

Goat Yard, located at the corner of Boatswain and North West Point roads in West Bay, used to be a source of pride for residents of the community. But that changed over the years, as the property changed hands several times.

Seemingly forgotten, the area became overgrown and garbage-infested, standing as a symbol of some of the ills that plagued the community.

Two Saturdays ago, the Beautification Committee’s Deputy Chair Alice Mae Coe led a group of community volunteers, members of the West Bay RCIPS and the Department of Environmental Health in cleaning the area and reclaiming civic pride.

‘When I was growing up, this was a source of pride in our community. As children this was our playground, where we played marbles, hopscotch and gigs. It was a safe neighbourhood where everybody watched out for each other,’ said property owner Deserine Miller, who was also in the work crew.

She explained that the land was owned by her family at one point; she recently repurchased it.

‘I bought this land with a drive to convert it back to what it used to be,’ Ms Miller said.

Ms Miller plans to fence the area and install a playground. She envisions it as a place where the community can get together.

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