(CMR) The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park in North Side was damaged by the passage of Tropical Storm Grace on Wednesday. Numerous indigenous and rare trees were uprooted with some being likely lost for the foreseeable future. Other areas of the park remain inaccessible at this time due to safety concerns.
The hardest-hit area of the park appears to be the park nursery where seedlings and plants get their start before being transplanted elsewhere in the facility. Ironically the nursery survived the devastating Category 5 Hurricane Ivan in 2004 but succumbed to Grace. The Cayman Islands Regiment was on location on Friday providing some assistance with clearing some areas of the park with their equipment and manpower.
The park is also looking for volunteers and donations to assist with the rebuilding and recovery process. They are in need of heavy equipment such as dump truck/backhoe, garbage skips, chainsaws and especially manpower. Monetary donations can be made to Cayman National Bank (CNB) 012-28359 CI Savings Account in name of Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
The park remained without power but CMR was able to take a tour on Friday afternoon with park General Manager John Lawrus to view the state of the park for ourselves.