November 20, 2009
Cumberland Beach Recreational Park, Nature Trail officially open

The site known as a haven for yachts has been developed and was handed over the community of Cumberland on Tuesday November 17, 2009.{{more}}

The Cumberland Beach Recreational Park and the new and developed Cumberland Nature Trail were handed over the community and managing group the Cumberland Eco-Tourism Organization at a small, quiet ceremony at the Cumberland Beach Recreational Park.

The park is the oldest tourism site on the leeward side of the island and is popular with yacht owners and sailors because of the sheltered bay.

The black sand beach, bordered by lush mountains now includes a jetty, a bridge and sea defense. The facilities of the park include a restaurant and office, washroom and laundry area, rental units and showers.

The nature trail located in the upper Cumberland valley includes washrooms, ticket booth, a lookout point and an exit shelter. The trail is between one and a half and two hours of hiking.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Telecommunications and parliamentary representative for the area Jerrol Thompson encouraged the members of the managing group to maintain the excellent status of the area, known for yachting. Thompson said that last year was said as the best year in yachting for the Cumberland beach.

Addressing the audience, Andrew Lockhart of the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority said that the area has had problems with theft, murders and break-ins of yachts in the past. He added that security will be on site and he urged the community to do their best to keep the site in a pristine condition.

In his address, Minister of Tourism Glen Beache urged the community to make the visitors’ experiences positive ones. He said that one bad experience can be destructive. Referring to the tourism industry as the ‘bread and butter’ of the economy, Beache added that the community has to play an integral part in assisting with the development of the industry.

The two sites together cost an estimated $1,282,639 which is 6.6% of the funds allocated by the European Union for the Tourism Development Project. The development of fourteen sites forms a part of the Tourism Development Project. Several sites including the Black Point Recreational Park, The Vermont Nature Trail and the Dark View Falls have already been handed over to communities. All sites are expected to be completed by December 31. (OS)