It is important that the integrity of the parks system is maintained for our future generations while also ensuring that open space is used properly for recreational purposes, OBA Senator Michael Fahy said this past Friday.
The Senator was speaking in reference to the youth motocross programme being organized by the Department of Parks, which will see a section of Astwood Park be used as a scrambling track for two hours a day Monday – Friday.
Senator Fahy said: “There has been much discussion in the media this week about a motocross track being sited in Astwood Park. There is great public interest. I have received numerous calls from people asking me to get involved.
“I thought it was best to get the facts from someone at the heart of the matter. So I called the man in whose constituency Astwood Park is, Marc Bean, the Minister of the Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy, to find out whether was being alleged by critics was true.
“I believe that before Bermudians make up their minds about this project, they should allow Minister Bean and his colleague, the Minister of Works and Engineering, to publicly comment.
“Once we hear officially from the Government to get a fuller understanding of the project we will all be better placed to make a judgement about the need for such a track.
“In the meantime, I would be happy to sit down with Stuart Hayward of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce and the Government Ministers involved to assist the parties in coming to an understanding of their respective aims and concerns.
“As a more general comment it is always important that the integrity of the parks system is maintained for our future generations, whilst at the same time ensuring that open space is used properly for recreational purposes. The OBA wants to see Bermuda’s resources utilised in everyone’s common and best interests,” concluded Senator Fahy.
Speaking after Senator Fahy’s statement, the Ministry of Public Works said the planned scrambling track at Astwood Park takes up “very little space” and will be used for “mini scramblers for the younger kids” from 4 to 6pm from Monday to Friday on a one year trial basis.
The environmental group BEST has called the plan“inappropriate”, saying that Astwood Park was purchased by the Government after research in showed that Warwick was one of the most densely populated parts of the Island, and needed open space relief.
“We are aware that the conversion is being promoted as a ‘kiddie scrambling track’ as though the smaller bikes will not be as noisy or destructive to the environment through pollution and erosion,” said BEST Chairman Stuart Hayward.
Update: The Public Works Ministry released a statement clarifying the situation, and also said: “Government greatly appreciates the common sense approach offered by Opposition Sen. Michael Fahy in terms of getting a better understanding of the project before casting judgment.”
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