The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park has good news for people who love the natural beauty of the tropics, but suffer from limited mobility.
The Park is once again able to provide transport around the gardens via its electric golf cart for those visitors who have special needs.
Sidelined by the deterioration of its $2000 battery grid, the cart has been sorely missed by members of the public who relied upon it for a variety of park-related transportation
Bridal parties have used the cart to move from the dressing area in the Visitors Centre out to the formal lawns where ceremonies are held. Injured visitors relied on the cart to extend their access into the further reaches of the grounds. Elderly visitors were grateful to have the cart improve their comfort level, making sojourns through the gardens a renewed pleasure.
The cart was originally donated to the Botanic Park in 2003 by Grand Cayman resident Yolanda Andrews. Ms. Andrews, a life-time member of the National Trust, enjoyed frequent outings to the Park until a knee-replacement operation forced her to curtail her visits. Rather than surrender her floral excursions, she worked with General Manager Andrew Guthrie to identify a way that would allow her to continue enjoying the beauty of the facility.
Because the Botanic Park is home to many birds and gentle creatures, including the endemic and endangered blue iguana, Mr. Guthrie recalls that an electric vehicle was deemed the most appropriate solution. Battery-powered carts are virtually silent, allowing extensive use without frightening the assorted wildlife dwelling on the grounds.
Electric carts also minimise the environmental impact resulting from chemical pollutants.
In the end, Ms. Andrews’ generous gift covered the entire $8000 cost for purchase, transportation, and importation. The cart was purchased through CI Plant in Grand Cayman from EZ-Go / Textron in Georgia, USA. In addition to her valuable contribution to the Botanic Park, Ms. Andrews is also a long-time supporter of the Pines Retirement Home and the Humane Society.
Visitors requiring use of the cart are encouraged to call the Botanic Park in advance at (345) 947-9462, extension 21. Or send an e-mail to [email protected]
Operating hours start at 9 a.m. daily and admission is CI$8. Children 12 and younger are admitted for free when accompanied by a parent. There is no extra charge for using the cart; one only needs to demonstrate a need for mobility assistance.
To learn about other features, programmes, and events at the Park, you can find a wealth of information and pictures available online at www.botanic-park.ky. The Queen
Elizabeth II Botanic Park is only one of the many attractions managed by the Tourism Attraction Board www.tab.ky