RESIDENTS in the volatile central Kingston community of Southside had a very good reason to celebrate yesterday.
The celebrations began as they joined with employees of the ICD Group of companies to rehabilitate the sole recreational facility in their community – Parade Gardens Park, located at the corner of Gold and Harbour streets.
The park has been in a state of disrepair for years, but all of that was about to change with the installation of a new surface and perimeter fence as well as the rehabilitation of a basketball court and swings.
“It’s going to make our community more beautiful. Also, we as parents can feel a little more comfortable that our children are over here playing without having to worry whether they are going to hurt themselves,” said Carlene Watson, a longtime resident.
“It’s a more safe environment for the kids … . It’s a blessing,” Watson underscored.
The rehabilitation of the park was one of several projects carried out in the Corporate Area as part of Labour Day 2015, which is being celebrated under the theme: ‘Labour for love: Nurturing spaces for children.’
Director of human resources at ICD Judith Bruce urged residents to ensure the facility does not fall into disrepair again.
“In Jamaica, we have this thing where people get things and use them until it ‘mash up’. But we are going to try and work with them and put up rules of things they can and cannot do in the park,” Bruce told The Gleaner.
It was a similar story in the community of Goodwich Lane, Mountain View, where residents insisted that they were taking ownership of the environs.
Through donations from large corporate entities and community-based shopkeepers, they managed to give the often-volatile east Kingston community a face-lift.
“This gives us more pride to know that we did this from within rather than depending on politicians …; it empower we,” one resident explained.
The Police Traffic Division, located on Elletson Road, also got a major makeover, thanks to Guardian Life Insurance Company.