Petition: Botanical Gardens Maintenance Yard

February 16, 2015

Action group Take Back Our Park has started an online petition to let people have their say over a maintenance yard being built in the middle of the Botanical Gardens.

A statement from the group said, “Take Back Our Park wants to see work on the yard, which includes two new two-story buildings, a water tank, and staff parking lot, halted as the site sits on the only piece of land that currently links both sides of the Gardens.

“The petition, which can be found here or can be accessed via the groups Facebook page says: ‘Government is currently building a large maintenance yard and water tower at the center of the Botanical Gardens to replace a yard that was previously there over a decade ago.

“We feel the Botanical Gardens, one of our treasures and Bermuda’s most important park, belongs to the people of Bermuda and should therefore not be used for industrial purposes such as a maintenance yard”.

“And it asks the question: ‘Do you support asking Government to halt work immediately on the maintenance yard in the Botanical Gardens and to revert this area back to be a usable part of the Gardens, forever linking both sides and enhancing it for future generations?”

“The yard is for the Parks Maintenance Department which was identified by Government as a candidate for outsourcing in the last Budget. “Why is the Park’s maintenance yard in the Botanical Gardens still going ahead if Government hasn’t finalized the future of this department, the group asked.

“These large buildings, water tower as well as the view of the heavy trucks, trailers, tractors and equipment parked there in the evenings and weekends will dominate the centre of the Gardens and ruin its integrity.


“About 100 to 120 Parks staff will be driving to this site on a daily basis to collect and/or drop off heavy trucks, trailers, tractors and equipment creating noise and activity within the Gardens. This site will also provide a throughway for heavy trucks going from Berry Hill to South Shore Road and vice versa.

“It will disturb the peacefulness of the Gardens and increase rush hour congestion and traffic along South Shore Road and the hospital zone,” added the spokesperson.

“Since we first brought this redevelopment to people’s attention earlier this year, we have been inundated with support and more than 440 people have ready visited our Facebook page.

“People did not realise what was going on in the Botanical Gardens and are angry to find out this is happening,” added the spokesperson.

“We are hoping that Government will use this opportunity to listen to the large number of people who are strongly opposed to this unpopular project and will cut their losses and revert this site [zoned as Park] back into part of the Botanical Gardens, forever linking both sides.

“If the project does proceed, visitors to the Gardens will see this eyesore and be reminded that Government had a chance to stop this, but chose not to listen.”

Anyone wishing to join the group or be added to mailing list can email them at

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (84)

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  1. Young Black Mind says:

    people have to much time on thier hands smh..Complain about hungry and homelessness instead of a park. I swear people care about pets n trees more than people who are (REALLY)in needed. I put brackets because we have many you feel they are struggling but are not.

    • Really? says:

      Sorry to disagree but I think this is a complete waste of Government money and will completely destroy one of our natural resources. Wouldn’t the money be better spent fixing up homes for our old folks. The Government has no sense of priority.

    • Mockingjay says:

      They’re called ANIMISM, some call it New Age.

  2. Micro says:

    The facilities at Marsh Folly should’ve been expanded to accomadate Parks and W&E in one location. Finacially, seems the better option long term.

    • Greeny says:

      Seems someone in Gov. has been busy on the Dislike key unless, of course, they like the idea that we all borrow even more money and go with the more expensive option????

  3. SMH says:

    This is a joke right? Government can be serious about putting another maintenance yard back in the middle of the Botanical Gardens? People need to scream about this and stop this stupidity. I thought we were supposed to be broke? SMH

    • Yardie says:

      A maintenance yard is definitely not needed in this park at all. I call it a park because to call it a Garden would be a crime. It is in such bad shape and so neglected by the staff and management! Go there on any given day and you would be hard pressed to find someone working on the actual tree or gardens. However, please be quiet as you could disturb the workers while they rest in the benches placed conveniently in the trees or asleep i the old rose gardens.

      In order to get to the Parks Department offices the staff and management must drive past the gardens every day, Somehow these parks staff don’t see or care about the state of the gardens themselves. 10 months out of the year the gardens and rock paths are filled with weeds, Usually there seems too be a bit of a push this time of year to spruce it up a bit for the AG show. Drive a little further up and you see the Parks Department sign that is busted in half, a lamp pole without a lamp, door to a pump room hanging off and many other small issues that any worker or manager with a little pride could rectify. The park is still littered with trees knocked over from the last hurricane. There are still many trees with large broken branches that hang dangerously above park visitors, They WILL fall down on someone. This park could be free of dangerous branches and fallen trees in two days if one worker or manager cared enough to grab a chainsaw and high lift or bucket truck and get to wok.

      The AG and Fish department is DEFINITELY one example of an ineffectively run department that we do not get value for the dollar on which should be privatized.

      I helped with the clean up of the railway trail, the bike trail in Somerset and in the park in my area. I infuriates me to see grown men sitting around and getting paid to do nothing while there is so much to be done.

      • Cardine Alice says:

        A real shame we don’t have a proper Botanical Gardens. Volunteers would be willing to help and Bot Soc has offered. The place is an embarrassing ruin and needs to be protected…off all.

        Tourism do somehting about it.

      • Legacy says:

        Great post. I completely agree that the money would be much better spent fixing up all the building that are falling down in the Botanical Gardens, such as the roof on the Outerbridge Building rather than building this huge industrial site right in the middle. We all know how that’s going to end up looking. At this point, why not put a gate around the whole park and say “closed for business, we didn’t deserve this park”

  4. Stupidity at it's best says:

    How did this ever get approved? Where is the MP on all this?

    • agatha christie says:

      The MP is the new Minister for Works and Engineering, a former Premier and the local MP…..

      • Stupidity at it's best says:

        ??? Are you serious? How is he letting them get away with this? I hope he doesn’t think his constituents will vote for him if this goes ahead. And let’s face it, he can’t afford to not get their support. Politics 101.

        • hmmm says:

          this was started under the PLP

        • another day in ......... says:

          well the question is on what basis was he elected in the first place,,, No experience, no vision, no ability to articulate his position or his views, no etc.. so there you go.. The shortest term of any premier and the first to leave in such a disgrace, now he is a government minister in less than a year.. bwoy oh bwoy

          • Triangle Drifter says:

            What part of ‘This job was put in motion during the PLP Administration’ do you not understand?

            The PLP started this botch up. It is yet something else for the OBA to put right.

        • david smith says:

          are you serious? – if they ran a dog in that area, they would vote for it

          • Triangle Drifter says:

            Yes, as long as that dog was not busy running in areas like #33 & a number of others.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Dunno, It seems like there has been activity in that area for quite a few years. I’m thinking it has been since pre OBA days when all of this started.

      Go back as far as 2003 when Fabian trashed the place. Seems like they have been on & off messing with the area ever since.

      • another day in ......... says:

        TD if indeed this is the case, the OBA have no alternative than to follow through with it,, after being in office 2 and a half years, they havent found an alternative?????

  5. Really? says:

    Of all the stupid things Government could be wasting money on, replacing a maintenance yard in the Botanical Gardens has got to be the winner. What genius thought that it would be a good idea for trucks to drive through there and park. Why not just tell tourists not to both visiting Bermuda. We’re too stupid to take of our natural resources.

  6. Mr. JiF says:

    Saw this for the first time a week or so ago. Appalled that anyone would even think to approve such a monstrosity in the middle of the botanical gardens.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    The maintenance yard should have been moved from smack dab in the middle of the park shortly after the Camden property was aquired many years ago.

    Better to relocate it in the NE corner of the Camden property. Nearby Berry Hill neighbours won’t like it there for sure but better to locate it there & shield it from view as best as possible plus regain the use of space right in the middle of the park for something other than parking for equipment & storage sheds.

    JMO, worth whatever.

    • A Better Bermuda says:

      A park is no place for a maintenance yard full stop. There are so many other places on the island for this type of industrial activity. People have got to put their foot down on this type of thing once and for all.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        So, you think that all of the lawnmowers & equipment needed to maintain the park, agree it is no longer a garden, should be kept who knows where off site & trucked in along with the staff to operate it everyday?

        Just wondering.

  8. SMH says:

    Another example of Government looking out for itself. It’s good to see people finally taking a stand about these things before we don’t have any green spaces left.

    • A Better Bermuda says:

      It’s funny to see the different responses to this article. You can tell who works for Gov!

  9. A Better Bermuda says:

    Its appalling to think that this ever got approved. Does Government think people, especially residents will put up with this type of thing happening to one of our precious few remaining green spaces. What’s next, a bus depot in front of the Cabinet Office? I’m definitely signing their petition

    • another day in ......... says:

      the residents didnt want the new hospital there but sit silent on a new maintenance yard with hundreds of trucks and machines.. and no obvious objection or should I say public objection,, not suprised,, if people can’t admit to the subjective nonsense going on in this country, then they show that they are morally and ethically bankrupt.

      • Jennifer Flood says:

        Unfortunately, when the plans were published, they did not mention Botanical Gardens. The plans are only advertised once, so if you happen to miss them – too bad. The advertised plans include very sparse details which may not alert a lay person to the extent of the work to be undertaken. The plans are also only available for 10 days only 9 am -5 pm (excluding weekends BUT I believe I am correct when I say that includes any public holidays that happen to fall within the 10 days) so it is difficult for anyone who does not work in Hamilton to get to Planning to view said plans.

        In a number of other jurisdictions those planning changes have to inform their neighbours. Seems like a good idea to me:)

      • Dee says:

        @ Another day in….. How do you know that the residents are staying silent? How do you know that residents have not signed the Petition or posted on social media sites?

  10. Terry says:

    Well it is a Government department.
    A facility should have been built at the Pembroke dump area.
    The area where it has been for so long could have been graded and turned into something floral or relaxation area.

    Someone needs to be hauled over the coals for this.

    Then again could have been in the works from previous government.

    No money for Ag. Show but monies allocated for this.

    I need a rum.

    • SMH says:

      I feel so bad for the Parks employees who took a furlough day to pay for this.

    • A Better Bermuda says:

      With stupid decisions like these, we can’t even afford the coals now

    • another day in ......... says:

      Terry,, its really hard for you to admit that the OBA can do anything wrong isnt it??? smh.. This may have been in the works during the past government?? really, because you object to it, it must not be your team who decided this.. smh..

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Sorry, but this has been going on since before December 2012. The planning & any Ministerial involment would have been in the works long before that.

        What we have here is another example of some high office civil servant, or collection of them, not thinking something through. What should happen now is some folks being put at the top of the being made redundant list, or at the very least taking a huge cut in pay & position.

    • Greeny says:

      And that area is beside the dump where all the trucks have to go at the end of the day anyway.

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      @ Terry For the Pembroke dump idea to work the government would first have to address two of the three access roads that are currently damaged or blocked off. Considering the time span that Palmetto Road has been in it’s sad current state (over two years now) & the number of years that Barnards Park has had flooding issues, I would not hold out on those repairs anytime too soon.

  11. Senlaw says:

    Is this a classic case of NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard? As I understand it, this depot has been in this location all along and has only been “exposed” because the trees surrounding it were blown down during the 2 hurricanes last October. Is this simply a case of selfish concern about residential property values?…..why should this be pushed over to Marsh Folly, where the nearby residents have had to put up with the side effects of the dump for ages?….and finally, are the organizers of this petition also in favour of privatization of Works & Engineering?

    • Stupidity at it's best says:

      Wow…I hope you don’t work for Government with that type of narrow mindedness. Who is their right mind thinks something as important as the Botanical Gardens is an intelligent place to repair trucks, no matter if it was once there or not. Do you want Bermuda to fail. What next, sell tickets to tourists so they can watch mechanics at work and then ask them to hold the wrenches?

    • SMH says:

      NIMBY? Proprty values? According to the article this department might be outsourced and Bermuda’s broke.

    • A Better Bermuda says:

      Where does it say in the article that they support privatization of W&E? You need to read the article again. It says that in this dept was listed for outsourcing in the last budget. Mmmmmmm. Big difference

      • Terry says:

        Whats the difference ‘Better’.

        • A Better Bermuda says:

          Simply that the last budget listed Parks Maintenance as one of the departments being considered for mutualization and doesn’t say that this would be a good or bad idea.

    • Dee says:

      No, Senlaw, you are wrong. There was a maintenance yard there but it was small and the buildings were one storey and very unobtrusive, the trees surrounding it were not blown down during the hurricanes this project was underway before October. Now they have expanded the yard, razed the low key buildings to the ground and installed an enormous monstrosity of a water tank. Have you visited the site, if not I recommend you do to see what our tax dollars are paying for. In recent years the maintenance of the Gardens has slipped and slipped to the point where they are now in a disgraceful state. The flower beds are clogged with weeds, there are still trees down from the October hurricanes and now the fiasco of the maintenance yard slap bang in the middle of the Gardens. This has nothing to do with NIMBY it has to do with common sense and preserving the beauty of the Gardens for both local and overseas visitors.

    • hmmm says:

      It’s been visible for years

      • A Better Bermuda says:

        Don’t you care about the legacy we’re going to leave our children? Hey kids, we let Bermuda borrow more debt to put a large ugly maintenance yard in the middle of our biggest Park, for a dept that was gone a year later. Sorry that’s not the legacy I want to leave my grandkids.

      • Greeny says:

        So if Grand Atlantic blows down, Government should rebuilt it because it was already ugly and there before?

        • SMH says:

          God I would hope not. This project should be called Grand Atlantic 2

  12. Budget Buster says:

    My question is, why wasn’t this put on hold after last years budget? Who’s in charge of finances? Is it going ahead simply because it’s been approved? I guess that explains why we’re broke. Shame on Government for asking Government employees to take furlough days while the continue to waste money on projects like this.

  13. SMH says:

    Good thing is that this will built in time for all the tourists coming to Bermuda for the America’s Cup to see. How proud I am to be Bermudian when I hear about things like this. Time and time again, it seems we can’t stop ourselves from ruining our own island. And now they want to make Southlands a park now too? What’s the plan to ruin that too?

  14. Say what??? says:

    Hopefully Government does the smart thing and listens this time because this will be a constant reminder to everyone if they don’t. It’s actually a win win for them, they can look like they’re will to listen to voters and save money.

  15. more than enough says:

    anyone notice the five workers at the rural hill roundabout? they have been planting the four small flower beds,[which were already prepared for planting on a previous day]all day. all day? five people? who is supervising that?
    mmmm mmmn…

  16. Well.... says:

    I am neither for or against this construction, but I do have a couple of points of “interest”

    1. This construction was approved by Government in 2012… Cant remember if it was before or after the election
    2. The work began in Mid 2013… So a considerable portion of the funding has already been spent on this site. Stopping and starting somewhere else will be the waste of money.
    3. This site has been the home of the Parks Dept. for going on 70 years… Why NOW is it an issue, there is no reason to move their depot away from their main work environment!!

    • Greeny says:

      Errr…how is having a maintenance yard in the middle of our most important park a smart thing no matter how you look at it? If you read the article this is a completely new yard (old one hasn’t been there for over a decade)so why build it there again? Tourists and visitors shouldn’t have to see what will be a truck depot there on weekends and holidays and listen to 100-120 parks staff congregating there every day and clogging up our roads. Also, what happens if that dept ends up getting outsourced?

      • cat3 says:

        Don’t believe everything you read in the paper. I am not for this construction because I believe the space can be used for something much better. But the maintenance yard has been there for years! It has not even been 5 years since the guys were moved to marsh folly so construction can begin so I do not know where you get a decade from. Also the trucks will not be driving through the gardens like other people have been saying as there is a service gate to south road. I don’t see there being more traffic delays because parks staff make 7:30 am and finish at 4pm. This maintenance yard has been in the plans for years. All other options for a location were viewed but none feasible. I think the workers should be located at marsh folly but it is not being allowed.

        • Legacy says:

          Having a maintenance yard in the middle of our biggest park makes no sense no matter what. Who cares what was there before (other than Gov.) this issue is why are we putting one back in there now? Why isn’t the maintenance yard at the quarry with the other Public works maintenance yards?

    • Stupidity at it's best says:

      Do you happen to work for Government because that the only way your comments make sense.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      If it was approved in 2012, it was in the planning stage long before that. Now, who was Minister of W&E/Ag & Fish up to December 2012. If you want to blame a politician for this debacle, there you have it. This is another PLP leftover that should have never happened.

      Yes, the yard has always been there however it has only been in the middle of the park since Bermuda aquired the Camden property from the Tucker family sometime during the 60′s.

      Just cause that is where it has been does not mean that it should stay in that location.

  17. edwin says:

    Since there are so many of you objecting , why don’t you MARCH On PARLIAMENT.

  18. Greeny says:

    Anyone that goes to the farmer’s market on Saturday has to walk by that site. It’s hard not to miss that type of scar on the landscape. Again, why there?

  19. Smiths says:




    • Greeny says:

      Thanks for that information. Did the planning application actual say Botanical Gardens? I for one would like to know that.

      • Greeny says:

        I just went to and the application for this refers to the site as: 169 South Road and there’s nothing about Botanical Gardens? Now I’m just mad

        • edwin says:

          We see applications like this all the time ,

          Trust So & So, location So & So Road and now you are MAD.

          • Greeny says:

            Heck yeah I’m mad at this type of stupidy. All those building in the BG that are falling apart from neglect and now Gov. wants to borrow more money to put a large mainteance yard back into the center ot the Botanical Gardens? What???

    • SMH says:

      WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING? Is it because you’re ANGRY about this?

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Maybe he/she wants those who don’t want to listen to hear a little better. Understandable. There are those who simply cannot face unpleasant reality.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Amazing! You lay out the facts & people click away on the dislikes. I guess there are those who cannot accept the facts as they are & face who is responsible for them.

  20. Binky says:

    Why do commenters with different names have the same avatar/identicons? See SMH, Greeny, Stupidity at its best
    Are they all the same person?

    • Greeny says:

      Honestly not sure how this avatar thing works

    • Common Sense says:

      @ Binky – many thanks for pointing out that different names have different “avatars” I never realized the significance before, that is, that the same person may be using multiple names but maybe it’s just one person trying to give a false impression that his or her opinion is shared by others.

      Madam Editor, can you please confirm if these avatars come from one person, or one computer, and if you have a policy rearding how many aliases a person can use?

  21. chip says:

    Bermudians of this island if this goes as planned then its time for re election real talk ? One has wonder enough ! What about the lighting in the roads after the storms and the roads there self that have to be attended to that’s being neglected and both are high visibility that are being so overlooked that white elephants are starting to pop up around the island that not a good sign! Who’s joking around with money u serious

  22. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Why do we not have any thing to show for the millions spent other than the lighthouse and the Aquarium.

    Our Beaches are the jewel in our crown there is where we need to invest our capital there with proper facilities for our visitors.

    I do not think that the Botanical gardens and overgrown parks are that great compared to other national parks , We need to hire competent management.

    • Greeny says:

      I thought it was interesting that someone referred to the Botanical Gardens as Bermuda’s national park. I never though about it like that before, but it’s true. I know that tourists leaving the island get polled about “our product” and one of the questions is about the Botanical Gardens.

  23. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Do not judge my book by its cover.

    Come to think of it, the Botanical Gardens have not changed that much in the last 50 years. Same old thing, one annual Agg show after another when it could be a year round festivity.

    Many people live in apartments and condominiums with out the luxury of an an atractive garden and would enjoy the peace and tranquility of a beautiful garden with out the asphalt.

    In the semi tropics we can hardly expect to see any thing comparable to Europe’s great gardens or the tranquility of the oriental gardens of Japan.

    We do not even have the serenity of a water feature or a even a pond for little boys to sail their model boats.

    The city hall got rid of their water feature . Big big mistake. !
    All it takes is imagination.

    There are people here who I am sure would gladly fund the transformation.

    Some of those ugly buildings need to go and get the trucks out of there.

    All it takes is imagination, a design competition would work.

  24. oniontoo says:

    who are these ppl behind this hideous monstrosities….COME ON OBA THIS IS RECKLESS PLANNING AND BLATANT DISREGARD FOR THE GARDEN..BTW i voted for you hear the ppl..

  25. going on too lONG!! says:

    We need accountability of the OBA and planning dept for this ugliness!

  26. ashamed says:

    Why spend millions on tourism to bring them here and you have this disgusting sight???????????????????

    • Pequat1609 says:

      Because it’s been there for over thirty years or didn’t you know that?