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BEST hails impact of Take Back our Parks

Stuart Hayward

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce praised the Take Back our Parks campaign in the wake of an injunction halting construction in the Botanical Gardens.

While the Ministry of Public Works had begun work on a new maintenance yard in the park, members of the public expressed concerns about the project.

A pair of area residents launched a legal action against the project, asking the Supreme Court to find the development unlawful. While the legal matter is ongoing, the courts placed an interim injunction on the project, temporarily halting work.

BEST chairman Stuart Hayward, pictured, said yesterday: “The injunction they have won in the Supreme Court, though just an interim step, is testament to the validity of our shared cause.”

Mr Hayward also noted criticism that had been aimed at some people who were involved in the campaign because they live in the area, saying this is not merely a case of “not in my back yard”.

“We applaud those who notice and get engaged in parkland protection whatever their reasons,” he said.

“We would hardly expect those affected most to engage least, and for that reason we counter the inference from critics who hold up ‘NIMBY’ (not in my back yard) as a flag to discourage and dissuade environmental activists. As environmental watchdogs, BEST derives much of its intelligence on development issues from concerned members of the public who notice and alert us to things taking place in their neighbourhoods and surroundings.

“It is precisely this type of citizenship that will do most to protect Bermuda’s environment for current and future generations.”