Tuesday, May 15, 2018 RESIDENTS of Beetham Gardens are now enjoying the benefits of a one-of-a-kind play park featuring exercise equipment, tables for board and card games, recreation benches, picnic areas, attractive lighting fixtures and a spectacular 300-foot mural painted by the youths of the community. “This is really a new beginning for the community. We are seeing the Beetham develop from nothing into something wonderful right before our eyes. It doesn’t feel like Beetham anymore,” said a beaming Elijah Charles, who functions as the community photographer. He said the construction of the park was a heartwarming development with the residents taking pride in the project. Officially commissioned on Monday (May 14), the Beetham Gardens Lilda Brown Recreation Park, named after one of the community’s most venerable residents, forms a major plank in the Beyond Borders social intervention initiative spearheaded by energy company BP Trinidad and Tobago (BPTT) and facilitated by The Rose Foundation. The park is located at Phase 1V, Beetham Gardens. Parliamentary representatives, Fitzgerald Hinds (Laventille West), Minister in the Office of the Attorney General; and Adrian Leonce (Laventille East/Morvant); as well as Councillor Adanna Griffith-Gordon (Success/Trou Macaque), thanked BPTT for its social responsibility in partnering with Beetham Gardens to uplift the quality of life of its residents. They appealed to the residents to make full use of the facility, while taking ownership of it. Hinds said the park would deliver both physical and mental well-being to the residents of Beetham Gardens and thanked all stakeholders for providing the community with a first-class facility. “I challenge anyone who contends that Beetham Gardens is at the bottom of the heap. We are blessed with the same resources as anyone else and equal to any place in our country,” he asserted. Leonce called on the residents to “continue working for the further transformation of the community and the country”. Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Advisor, BPTT, told the residents that the company’s corporate responsibility programmes, of which Beetham Gardens and the wider Beyond Borders is a major component, were closely aligned to its business strategy. “We believe we have a role to play in community and national development. Spaces such as these play an important role in the development of a community and go hand-in-hand with other factors such as job creation and entrepreneurship. They also provide a space for exercise and for simple interaction and having fun. To the residents of Beetham Gardens, I would like to offer congratulations on your efforts to develop your community. Thank you for allowing BPTT to play a role in that development,” Primus said. Built at a cost of $600,000, the Beetham Gardens Lilda Brown Recreation Park utilised the services of a contractor and labour from the community. It was conceptualised by the community itself and driven by Councillor Griffith-Gordon and the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation. The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) also plays a major role in the Beetham Gardens community interventions through its Hearts & Minds programme. The play park project is an extension of the Beetham Gardens Beautification initiative which was mounted to generate self-employment through planting of food crops and to beautify the area. Both initiatives are part of BPTT’s Beyond Borders programme which facilitates development in at-risk communities.