A couple decades ago, when there were 4 football fields on the Barracks coastline where now stand the Princess Hotel & Casino, BTL Park, Marina Towers, and a well-manicured grassy pitch reportedly owned by the Bowen Group, the cry was for Belizeans to “Save di Barracks” from sale to foreigners.
Progress brings its problems, no doubt. Well, today, what’s left of the “Barracks” for free access to the general public is only the BTL Park, so named as they are committed to upkeep and maintain it.
Successive hurricanes have ripped up the beach where previous generations of Belizeans used to comfortably wade out into the water for a swim at the Barracks. Now, you have to tip-toe amongst huge, slippery rocks in a foot of water to try and reach the bathing ground, or to get to your sailboat, as the sailors found out at this year’s Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta.
The beach was reclaimed and reinforced for the Princess Hotel & Casino, for the Marina Towers, and for the grass field to the north adjacent to the Government Fisheries compound: why can’t the beach also be reclaimed at BTL Park? It’s the dry season, and Belizeans who can’t make it to the cayes would love to have easy access to the Barracks to enjoy a swim, without having to struggle amongst the huge rocks in the shallow water.
Further south, the multi-million dollar Marine Parade land reclamation project filled up water four feet deep along a three-quarter mile stretch of coastline and turned it into dry land. The hundred yards of beach at BTL Park has only a foot of water between the many rocks covering a thirty foot path along the shore line.
Come on, City Council! We can do it. Amandala