Multimillion-dollar upgrade underway at Watson Taylor Park


Multimillion-dollar upgrade underway at Watson Taylor Park

Thursday, July 30, 2020

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LUCEA, Hanover - The Hanover Municipal Corporation has undertaken a multimillion-dollar upgrading project at the Watson Taylor Park and beach in Lucea.

The scope of works include the removal of shrubs and trees from a section of the beach, the installation of recreational facilities, lights, the rehabilitation of a sanitary convenience facility and the creation of a beach volleyball court.

Additionally, upgrading work is to be carried out on the football field and multipurpose court.

“I can assure you Hanover will be something that makes you proud. We are going to make Hanover proud,”an upbeat Sheridan Samuels, the mayor of Lucea, told the Jamaica Observer West following a tour of the property recently.

While there are other small public beaches such as Bulls Bay and Orchard in the Hanover, a number of individuals tend to travel either to Negril or Montego Bay in St James, due to the lacklustre recreational facilities that exist in Hanover.

However, Mayor Samuels stressed that he wants to make the recreational facilities at Watson Taylor Park better than that in Negril.

“We want to ensure that persons on a Sunday can take their family to Watson Taylor Park instead of heading down to Negril because Watson Taylor Park, I can assure you, is going to be way better than what you are looking at in Negril,” Samuels argued.

“We just cleaned the beach, took the weeds out of it, so persons are now enjoying it. There was just a small area where they used to bathe in, now, they can use the entire beach itself,” stated Mayor Samuels, adding that “the property was like a forest.”

“We removed all those bushes, cut the trees that are supposed to be cut, and guess what, we found more lands. We also found a new beach,” he pointed out.

Deputy mayor of Lucea, Andria Dehaney Grant, said, “We are hoping also in the future to have some shops over there where we can have some vendors over there where they can rent some shop spaces, and have a nice restaurant over there…so, there are lots of things that we are thinking about because we want Hanover to get the best and, we are working on doing that.”

Mayor Samuels said most of the work being done at the facility is on a voluntary basis, noting that a non-profit group, founded in 2018 called Friends of Watson Taylor Park, will be playing its part in the upkeep of the park.

“We are not taking it over from the Hanover Municipal Corporation, but we are really working as partners. Members so far have pledged benches that they want to put on the ground, and as we go along, we can solicit help and we know that there are many Hanoverians overseas who will be happy to come on board and help us with whatever we see fit to be done to the park,” said Denise Hudson, a member of the Friends of the Watson Taylor Park group that will also be erecting a monument in memory of Watson Taylor who donated the land to the people of Hanover.

Mayor Samuels, who is also the president of the Hanover Football Association, said plans are currently in place to erect stands on the football field.

“I am speaking with the Jamaica Football Federation to, out of some COVID Relief Fund, ensure that we get stands at Watson Taylor Park, and we are very far in negotiations and we expect that we are going to get something from them as it relates to that,” said Samuels.

Councillor for the Riverside division Daren Barnes, who is also the treasurer of the Hanover Football Association, said the upgrading plans for the football field will assist with the development of football in the parish.

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