A place of leisure and tranquility for the people of the Orange Orchard and Bradley’s Bank Area in Santa Elena Town was opened on Sunday of last weekend. Residents from these areas came out for a short ceremony to show their happiness, for their children will now be able to play at the newly opened Orange Orchard Park, a community project built together with funds from both the Government of Belize and the Private Sector.

To mark the occasion, both Alberto August, Chairman from the Belize Natural Energy (BNE) Trust, and the Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Works and Transport and representative for the Cayo Central Division, did the ribbon cutting. Also present for the ceremonies was the team of councilors from the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council and Victor Alegria the General Manger of BNE.

The newly opened Orange Orchard Park had an estimated total cost of $75,000.00, with the BNE Trust Fund coming up with $50,000.00 The Government of Belize’s contribution towards the park is $25,000.00, and came in the form of labor.

As explained by Alberto August on Sunday, the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust is a partnership between the Government of Belize and BNE in which there is a production sharing agreement, which calls for a percentage of the gross revenue from the exportation of the oil to be placed into the Trust.

“The Trust uses these funds for educational purposes and for the enhancement of the social environment,” said Alberto August, who is also the Chairman of the United Democratic Party.

Children and adults came out in large numbers on Sunday to experience the 14 components of the play ground, which includes a dome climb, a roundabout, concrete benches, a perimeter side walk and great landscaping. Some youths were also observed playing on Sunday on the Five-A-Side Football field near the park.

In his address to the gathering last Sunday, the Hon. Rene Montero said that the new park will serve the Orange Orchard Area, the Bradley’s Bank and the Santa Elena New Extension in a positive way: “…will provide a safe environment for our children to socialize and have fun, it will serve as a recreational park where families can come together to relax and enjoy an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.”
The brand new Orange Orchard Park is located in an area that has experienced unprecedented growth over the last few years, within the Cayo Central Division. Newly re-elected into office as the Representative for Cayo Central, the Hon. Rene Montero noted that the areas of the Bradley’s Bank and Orange Orchard had no water, no electricity, no proper roads and the residents living in the area did not have proper lease papers. But the conditions of the residents in the Orange Orchard Area have since been transformed.

“This area now enjoys a Baptist School under the management of Pastor Manuel Cowo and several churches, where you can go and worship the Lord,” says the Hon. Montero.

“We have just signed a contract with BWS to extend the water system so that all the residents in this area [can] enjoy potable water

“We are working to ensure that those areas that do not have electricity will soon enjoy lights in their homes.”

The Guardian