Dart Family Park in South Sound was in need of some love.
Opened in 2005, the park's last significant renovation was back in 2011. With the park's turning 15 years old on 9 April, Dart wanted to give it a good makeover.
Work started in February and was scheduled to be completed by the Easter holiday long weekend. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed that, but the project was completed last month.
While a lot of the work involved renewing or removing some of the broken or old fixtures in the park, there were also a couple of significant changes, said Dart Horticulture Manager Shannon Schmidt.
"We wanted visitors to be able to see the sea when they first enter the park," she said. "To do that, we needed to do some significant pruning to improve sight lines in the car park."
The amphitheatre area also received a couple of significant changes, including the building of two wooden staircases that allow visitors to enter from the back.
"We also installed electricity to the amphitheatre to be used for evening functions."
Other improvements included reestablishing old pathways and adding new ones; cleaning and painting the six cabanas, which have new picnic tables procured from Northward Prison; resetting and replacing the paver area in front of the bathroom; refinishing the raised beds in the car park, and installing a base pad for installation of Cycle Cayman bikes.
Dart Nursery provided many of the original plants and trees in the park today. Some of the more notable tree specimens include Couroupita guianensis (the cannonball tree), Ficus aurea (the strangler fig tree), Caesalpinia granadillo (the bridal veil tree) and Kigelia africana (the sausage tree, which can also be found in the Camana Bay Cinema car park).
"With the completion of this project, Dart Family Park is much improved," said Schmidt. "It is a wonderful place for the community to enjoy."
Dart Manager Community Development Dominic Ross said the project was something the company felt it should do.
"Dart Family Park has special significance to us because it bears the family name,” he said. "As it is with all of our properties, our goal is to enrich lives through the enhancement of Cayman’s shared environment. With these improvements, we believe Dart Family Park can do just that."
This article appears in print in the August 2020 edition of Camana Bay Times.