Providenciales, 26 Feb 2015 – The Wheeland Pond is about to get an upgrade, but the Turks and Caicos National Trust and the Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs or DEMA are hoping to get community buy in. “Well its two fold, I think if we do this sustainably it will certainly bring upliftment in the sense of visually it will be uplifting; it will be beautified. It will be a pleasant place to come and see and a pleasant place to live. And of course there will be an economic benefit, if we can do this thing properly and sustainably and committed then it means economically, local taxi drivers, tour operators and perhaps people in the area can benefit from tourists making use of the area.”
Amy Avenant who is the Environmental Outreach Coordinator with DEMA said some of the challenges with the pond which is home to flamingoes and various species of ducks is illegal dumping, including large items like boulder rubble and that development has split the pond. A series of town meetings are planned because both groups know that it will take support from residents.
“Short term we’d like to see it cleaned up, and we’d like to see it stay that way and that’s why the community meetings are so important, and I can’t stress that enough. We need good community buy in. Medium term goals, we would like to see perhaps some fencing around here, some formal paths put through where tourists and residents alike can make use of the area, can have a walk through, go and have a look at the birds and the plants and some proper signage.”
There are two opportunities to attend the town meetings. Tonight/Thursday at 6-7:30pm and a second town meeting is set for Saturday, February 28, 2015 10–11:30am; the venue for both meetings is at the Wheeland Pond in Blue Hills, Providenciales.