Grand Bahama’s Lucayan National Park Celebrates 40th Anniversary
June 23, 2022 – Nassau, The Bahamas
Special guests recently joined The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) in Grand Bahama to celebrate one of the island’s natural jewels – the Lucayan National Park – during its 40th anniversary last weekend.
The Lucayan National Park (LNP) is one of 32 national parks managed by the BNT. It is known for protecting one of the world’s largest charted underwater cave systems; remains of the Lucayan Indians; and a combination of natural environments such as pine forests, mangroves, coral reefs, and the world-famous Gold Rock Beach. Established in 1982 and expanded in 2015, this national park plays a significant role in the economy of Grand Bahama, supporting the livelihoods of many Bahamians on the island.
The LNP’s 40th anniversary celebrations included the soft opening of the park’s gift shop, as well as a groundbreaking ceremony for its welcome center. The construction of the gift shop was financed by the European Union and the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States for the BIOPAMA Program. The Welcome Center is being financed by donations raised at the BNT’s 2020 Cuban Pig Roast. The BNT has secured 7 projects and private donation collections that will see the expansion of infrastructural projects for the LNP.
BNT Director of Parks Lakeisha Anderson said, “The Lucayan National Park is known as the welcome mat to Grand Bahama. Our team has been diligently working even through the pandemic, and very soon you will see significant improvements and upgrades to the LNP, which will provide both direct and indirect jobs for Grand Bahamians.
“For the last 10 years we have been very strategic about engaging stakeholders for the LNP. In terms of what you see here today, this was not conceptualized around a table in Nassau. We’ve actually done quite a bit of work within the communities to think about the vision of the LNP and where we want to see the park. We’re proud of where we’re at and excited to foster relationships with key community members.”
The 40th anniversary celebration of the Lucayan National Park also marked the official kickoff of BNT’s outgoing Executive Director Eric Carey’s “Farewell National Parks Tour.” The purpose of this tour is to engage the government, donors, partners, and supporters in BNT projects and initiatives, while also showcasing and celebrating the BNT’s work in and around national parks before the end of Carey’s tenure in December 2022.
Carey said, “It’s quite a surreal feeling. My first official visit as BNT Executive Director way back when was to Grand Bahama, so it’s all come full circle. Today we had a phenomenal day of events, and it made me feel so proud to be part of the BNT team. At a time when Grand Bahama has been through so much, for us as an organization to be able to show progress and reach this milestone with the gift shop and groundbreaking, and celebrating 40 years of this incredible park, is significant.”
During the ceremony, General Manager of the Grand Bahama Tourism Office Steven Johnson also shared remarks.
“What a joy it is to be a part of this celebration and to see Grand Bahama take off. I want to thank the BNT for everything they’re doing, and I hope the gift shop at LNP will depict some of the authenticity of Grand Bahama. This is a great day for the island, and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Grand Bahama is behind the BNT 100%. Let’s get people in here and continue to push the word out about this park and all the other places in Grand Bahama.”
Among the 32-national park system of The Bahamas, the Lucayan National Park is the second most visited national park. To learn more about the LNP and other national parks of The Bahamas, visit https://bnt.bs/explore/.
Media Contact: Leah Carr | firstname.lastname@example.org | (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.