Environmentalist Athie Martin has hailed and applauded the action of lawyer Wayne Norde and a group of Dominicans who have filed and obtained a court injunction to stop work at Jack’s Walk in the Botanical Gardens.
The injunction was filed against the Minister of Tourism Robert Tonge and Attorney General Levi Peter over the use of “concrete” to restore steps at the site.
The group through the chambers of Dawn Yearwood had filed an application for an Order of Prohibition in the matter.
The Order of the Court is that “Jack’s Walk Trail with concrete steps is stayed immediately until further or other order of this Court.”
“I am very excited and proud that a young man like Wayne Norde can find it within himself to become a leader in protecting a very important asset of our environment and nature,” Martin said.
Many have raised concerns that the project will be dangerous and compromise the natural look and eco-experience of the site which is popular with tourists and locals who enjoy the walk both as a form of leisure and exercise.
Martin said Norde has taken the bull by the horn in addressing the many concerns raised.
“He has taken the bull but the horn; he did not wait for a whole mass of people, it means that one individual can make a huge difference. I have congratulated him personally and now publically and is willing to assist him in any way I can,” he stated.
The Order was to be served on the Ministry of Tourism and Urban Renewal and the Forestry Division, the Minister of Tourism and the Attorney General.
The application will be heard in Court on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
The project cost around EC$65,000.00 and was under the supervision of the Wildlife and Parks Division.
The group said that while they have no problems with restoration works at Jack’s Walk the natural ambiance of the 35 steps should remain.
They are of the view that the “concrete steps” will remove the “natural beauty” people once experienced years ago in hiking Jacks Walk.
Jack’s Walk begins with 35 steps in the Botanical Gardens and then meanders upwards on a forest trail, delicately shaded by the surrounding trees.
This 20-minute hike up into the area of Morne Bruce affords panoramic views of Roseau and the surrounding coastline.
Jack’s Walk is also an excellent preparation exercise for some of Dominica’s more challenging hikes.
Martin says that the natural ambiance of Jack’s Walk should remain.
“People who come here don’t mind getting a little mud on their shoes because that is part of the nature experience,” he said in an interview with Q95’s The Hott Seat.
Minister of Tourism Robert Tonge supports the work being done.
On his Facebook page he wrote, “Just imagine the procession of Catholics walking to the top with their candles at night…the croton planted on the sides will make it more beautiful while controlling land slippage.”