West Bay’s Garvin park is tucked away on the shores of the North Sound, just down the road from Morgan’s Harbour. One of West Bay’s three parks, along with the Heritage Field community event venue, it features green space, rest rooms, plenty of parking and a gazebo.
According to Recreation Parks and Cemeteries unit Acting General Manager Mark Bothwell, a West Bayer himself, this park is known locally as “Liar’s Tree” and is a popular spot for district residents who use the boat launch for their small boats and wave runners, or just spend time chatting and swapping stories.
The park is named after the late “Sirley” Garvin who lived on the site, as is the road leading to the park.
Local resident Kem Jackson noted that the land the park is on was originally owned by John Jackson, who passed away about 60 years ago. The spot was known locally over the years as Jackson’s Barcadere and was a popular boat launch location, as it remains today.
West Bay also has two other public parks, the little Al Al parkette in Botswain’s Bay near the lighthouse, and Scholars Park, near the Ed Bush stadium.
The Growing Communities initiative, which is a public/private partnership between Dart Cayman Islands and the Cayman Islands Government facilitated the design, build, restoration and maintenance of five district park including Scholars Park.
The partnership’s website notes the park was founded in October 2001 and named after the district’s Division 1 football team. In fact, many of the park’s amenities are painted in the team’s blue and yellow strip colors. In 2011, a series of renovations to the park resulted in improvements to the landscaping and the addition of brand new play facilities. Scholars Park is an ideal park for families, featuring plenty of shade, gardens a variety of plants and trees, a large sandy playground and expansive grassy areas for kids to play.
Maintaining local parks
Mr. Bothwell notes that his unit does its best to maintain the district’s parks within its budget, doing maintenance as possible, including mowing, hedge trimming, and servicing rest rooms.
“We have a great team of staff, they work really hard to maintain the parks to as high a standard as possible,” said Mr. Bothwell, noting that currently the unit does not have the budget for enhancements.
“We have a lot of very nice parks here in Cayman, a lot of work goes into keeping them in good repair, and we hope that people enjoy using them.”
Cayman currently has 16 public parks, along with 18 public beaches, distributed among the districts.
The unit manages 68 acres, 16 restrooms and 12 cemeteries, seven days a week.
“We are lucky to have so many parks, for such a small island, though, it seems that not all of them experience heavy use by locals,” said Mr. Bothwell.