BNT Shares Vision for Bonefish Pond National Park with Minister of Works & Utilities Alfred Sears
January 10th, 2023 – Nassau, Bahamas
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) hosted a site visit at The Bonefish Pond National Park (BPNP) this past Friday. Minister of Works and Utilities the Hon. Alfred Sears, and senior managers and engineers of the Ministry of Works and Utilities, joined new BNT Executive Director Lakeshia Anderson-Rolle for a walkabout of the most visited national park in New Providence.
The group was guided by BNT Parks and Science team members as well as Anderson-Rolle herself, who shared the vision for improving the park’s infrastructure and visitor experiences, to enhance its benefits to the community.
Nestled in a serene area amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy city, Bonefish Pond National Park preserves more than 1200 acres of the last intact tidal mangrove ecosystem in New Providence. The location, through a corner off of Cowpen Road, has historically been used as an illegal dumping site, and the BNT has worked with the community and various corporate and non-profit partners to lead many restoration efforts over the course of 10 years. In recent years it’s been the site of ongoing mangrove plantings and cleanups.
The BNT has several initiatives underway for BPNP, including numerous objectives under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) 2020 Project. The GEF 2020 Project provides funding for capacity building, research, and infrastructural upgrades in the park.
“Bonefish Pond National Park is one of the most popular outdoor spaces for residents and visitors of Nassau,” said Anderson-Rolle. “The BNT’s vision for this national park is to sustainably develop it into a true community and recreation space where Bahamians and visitors alike can explore the beauty of this mangrove ecosystem, and the biodiversity it protects. We are honoured to have the Ministry of Work’s support in seeing this vision come to reality. They have been a key partner in the development of this park from its inception, and we are thankful for their continued commitment in providing public access to the national parks under our care.”
Minister Sears underscored the support of successive governments for the work of the BNT, emphasizing his ministry’s commitment to continue this support with the infrastructure improvements that are to come at Bonefish Pond National Park.
“We bring millions of visitors to our country, and we need to bring them to Bonefish Pond [National Park], and other retreats and reserves, so they can see the magnificence of this country, the beauty of the marine life, and how we as guardians and stewards of our environment have maintained this delicate balance between sustainable development and conservation,” Sears said.
“We are very pleased to endorse and celebrate the partnership between the Ministry of Works and The Bahamas National Trust. Especially during this 50th anniversary of our national Independence, the focus is on projects that really complement the government’s initiative in terms of carbon credits. So this is a matter of priority for the ministry.
“There is a vested public interest and public commitment not only to this project but the work of BNT nationally.”
Evan Cartwright, the ministry’s Assistant Architect for the project, said, “What we plan to do in collaboration with the stakeholders here is assist in every way possible – from both the structural and environmental side of it. We’ve done firsthand walk-throughs with the team already, and we’ve done a thorough assessment of the site and what needs to be done. We should be getting started very quickly because it’s very important to the future of Bahamians and the communities at large.”
Bonefish Pond National Park protects important mangrove habitats that help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, acting as a carbon sink. The mangroves in this park also serve as a nursery for marine organisms and provide many ecosystem benefits to both people and the environment, such as coastal protection and recreation.
Media Contact: Leah Carr | email@example.com | (242) 429-7902
About the BNT:
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of The Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility, the BNT works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas through stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 32 National Parks managed by the BNT with more than 2 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.