Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Open Free to Barbadian Public on Monday, December 1, 2008 – B’dos’ 42nd Independence Public Holiday

Due to overwhelming demand from people who missed the previous Free Day at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, the Sanctuary will open again free to the public on Monday, December 1, 2008, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

According to Harry Roberts, General Manager of the Sanctuary, many people were unable to attend the Sunday at the Park event in early November. The November 9 event, called ?Sunday at the Park? was attended by over 8,000 people.

A new video with interviews from various citizens is now available online.

?There is major national interest in the future of the Sanctuary and surrounding lands,? said Roberts. ?We heard from thousands of people including teachers, children and parents saying that they are very sad about the scheduled closing. Therefore, we will open the gates to the public on the Independence Day Bank Holiday.?

Peter Allard, the owner of the Sanctuary announced earlier that the Sanctuary will close on December 15, 2008 after an investment of US$35 million over the past 14 years.

Many hope that the Sanctuary can be protected in perpetuity as part of a larger national park.

In 2007, over 6,000 Barbadians signed a Friends of Graeme Hall petition in favor of preserving the approximately 240 acre green area at Graeme Hall as a National Park. As the largest green space on the South Coast between the Airport and Bridgetown, the proposed National Park would include the designated 91-acre RAMSAR wetland approved under the international Convention on Wetlands, the 35-acre Sanctuary, and recreational lands.

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