Community effort to revitalise Scranton park

| 06/02/2019
CNS Local Life
Kenneth Bryan and other volunteers cleaning the park (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS Local Life): Almost 100 members of the community gave up part of their Saturday to clean up the Scranton Central Park site off Shedden Road, a project spearheaded by MLA for George Town Central Kenneth Bryan. The work done by hand and heavy equipment, which included raking, clearing out brush and trash as well as all manner of discarded items, is the first step in Bryan’s vision for the spot.

“I am overjoyed by the reaction I got from the community as well as organisations and businesses in respect to assisting with this clean-up,” Bryan told CNS, adding that with all that was accomplished, “people are starting to see the potential of the land and how far it could go, and starting to dream”.

With that inspiration, Bryan said, people will begin to think about the potential and possibilities of the site. Once that happens, “we’ll start to see some ideas and people coming together even more to create something special”.

In addition to the involvement of the people in the community, Bryan said the work was a joint effort between himself and the Central Scranton Committee, noting the “vital part” they played, in particular Dale Ramoon, who he called a “key person (who) doesn’t want to take a lot of the credit, but he’s key”.

Cheryl Myles, who is also a member of the committee, was one of the people who took part in the clean-up. “The park was in an area I was raised in, so it’s my hometown. I got involved as a volunteer because it’s something near and dear to me,” she explained.

She already is thinking about what the park could mean for the neighbourhood. “I see a future where it could be a recreational area for the elderly, used for after-school programmes, a little area for those in the community to walk, and just make the community stronger.”

CNS Local Life
Heavy equipment clearing the trash (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Last November, government bought the park and adjacent land for $272,500, but more money is needed to complete the project. “I am definitely going to continue to need corporate funding and help to get the park the way we want to do it,” Bryan said, adding he would “love to have government involved”.

He has been told that government wants to help but it is unclear at this point what will be done. “So at this particular point, I’m just moving forward. I don’t want to waste any more time; the people deserve to have it right away and they’ve been waiting long enough so hopefully the government will jump in at some point,” Bryan added.

The total cost will depend on the final plan for the park, which will be decided in consultation with the community. The next step is for Bryan and the Central Scranton Committee to meet with residents of the area and “ask them what exactly they would like the park to be like, whether it’s a community centre or more green life and park and green grass, an open area or enclosed area”, he said, stressing they want to create a park that is the best for the community as well as the rest of Cayman.

But he does have his own ideas. Noting that George Town Central is known for “the great food that we cook”, he would like to see something similar to a farmer’s market set up where well-known cooks from the area could sell food, with people from nearby businesses coming to the park to buy their lunch. “It creates a working opportunity and business opportunity for the local restaurants as well as a park environment,” he said.

While the timeframe for completion will depend on how quickly funding can be put in place and when the final decision is made on the layout and features of the park, Bryan said they have done the most important part. “The initial step was to clear it out so people in the community can start dreaming together,” he explained, adding that the condition of the site made it difficult for anyone to appreciate the “magnitude of the land and what was there”.

He added, “Now the dream has been sparked and people are starting to think about the opportunities.”

Bryan plans to hold a meeting in the next few weeks with residents in the surrounding area, in the wider George Town, about what they would like to see there because “at the end of the day they’re the main beneficiaries” of the combination park/community centre.

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Category: Community, Environment

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  1. Anonymous says:

    United we stand. That goes for everything. Great job!