By Lazeena Yearwood
The New Amsterdam (NA) Recreational Park will be a major player in improving the mental and physical wellness of residents living in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), President Dr Irfaan Ali said on Friday when he commissioned the area.
The park has gazebos, sitting areas, and washroom facilities that cater to persons living with disabilities; a vehicle parking area, lights, soon-to-be-installed playing equipment, Police presence and it will soon have open government Wi-Fi access.
In his remarks, the Head of State said this area is not just a park, but a major investment in the wellness of community members.
“Mental health is linked to community health, if we have great community health, we have great community spirit,” President Ali said, noting, this will reduce abuse and behavioral activities that are not conducive to community wellness.
“Wellness and fitness go hand-in-hand, so mental health is linked to community health, community health is linked to wellness and fitness and how do we create a better more conducive environment if we don’t have community space?”
According to President Ali, these are the small essential things that aid the human transformation that is critical for the transformation of the country.
Further, the President urged the residents to treat the park with respect. He said it is a family-oriented space that should be utilised for studying, playing, exercising, and even occupied by schools for recreational activities.
The park is a project under the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Public Works. President Ali praised the two agencies for their tremendous work.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar said, “This Park is a great addition to the region for the residents living there to have a family space.”
He added that this is not the first place that the First Lady has taken up projects to make family-oriented spaces.
However, he added that this project specifically, was done by contractors from the region, highlighting that this is a great way to show the building capabilities of Berbicians.
Meanwhile, President Ali further encouraged young people and children to use the park to promote and practice their talents, especially those who do public performances.
He also said that with the space for children to perform, it is his hope that businesses will financially support the young people.
“To the children, they can showcase their talents. This is what we want here, a cultural stage. This is what will uplift life in New Amsterdam.
“Narrowly, someone will say this is just a park, but that is not so. We have to optimize the value.”
He also reminded that this makes the value of the properties nearby increase, therefore, creating net value for residents.