BNT celebrates grand opening of Primeval Forest National Park

THE Bahamas National Trust officially opened the Primeval Forest National Park located just south of Frank Watson Highway.

Opening the park for the Prime Minister was the Acting Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Bernard Nottage. Also attending were Chinese Ambassador Yuan Guisen, and Mrs Guisen, US Charg� d’Affaires John Armstrong, BNT members, donors, and government officials.

Students, who are members of the BNT’s youth educational programme, BNT Discovery Clubs from Lyford Cay International School. Kingsway Academy also participated in the opening.

Complimenting the Bahamas National Trust in its efforts to preserve this approximately eight-acre park, Dr Nottage said this park is one of the last “old growth hardwood forests” in New Providence.

“The Primeval Forest National Park is truly a gift to the educational system of our country. Students studying Bahamian ecosystems will be able to utilise this national park as a window into the Coppice Forest Ecosystem and Bahamian geological history. They will be able to see large examples of mahogany and a bent horseflesh tree that would have been a Bahamian Boat builder’s dream.

“The Bahamas National Trust is to be commended for not only preserving this park, but for providing infrastructure and creating a story that will provide an insight into the history of our islands not only botanically, but also geologically.

“A visit to the Primeval Forest will give our visitors and students an insight into how our islands were formed better than any geology book,” he said.

Dr Nottage specifically commended Pericles Maillis for his work in preserving this special national park.

Established in 2002, the Park protects a section of old growth forest that has remained remarkably undisturbed for hundreds of years.

As the BNT’s past President, Mr Maillis discovered the area as a boy and led the initiative in the late 90’s to protect the land.

“We create national parks to protect biodiversity, to protect habitat for endangered species, to showcase unique ecosystems and to provide support for education about the natural history of our county. I can say that this national park although just under eight acres fulfils all of these needs,” said Lynn Gape, deputy executive director of the BNT.

The Primeval Forest preserves a unique combination of diversity in both its biology and geology. There are few areas anywhere in the Bahamas that can provide all of these interesting facets in an easily accessible location.

“This is truly a great day for the Bahamas National Trust. With support from the government, corporate and private donors and many volunteers, the BNT has been able create the infrastructure here today. This park provides a unique window into our history and geology for both the visitor and the student,” commented Eric Carey, BNT Executive Director.

BNT is working on a strategy to facilitate vsits to this new National Park.


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