By Craig Brewin, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOTBOT’s fundraising campaign this year will support the creation of a fully accessible eco-friendly educational and play space for children in Montserrat. The ambitious EcoPlay project, being developed by the Montserrat National Trust, will include a multi-functional building set in a new park, designed to ensure that the development of the island is inclusive for young people.
The new park is to be created on recently acquired land adjacent to the botanical gardens and the building will contain facilities that are accessible by persons with disabilities. It will have naturally ventilated spaces with solar hot water and high levels of daylight to minimize the use of electricity. A roof terrace will provide a secure play area and breath-taking views across the tree canopy to the Caribbean Sea.
EcoPlay will have the following facilities:
● Rooftop terrace: play, exploration and observation
● Disabled facilities, toilets, kitchenette, classroom for 30 students, orchid growing wall for displaying endemic Montserrat orchids – Epidendrum montserratense, outdoor terrace with swing seat, communal table, pond and planting troughs.
● Sand play area for children 2-6 years, climbing wall and exploration area for 7-18 year olds.
● Amphitheatre seating up to 20 people designed for storytelling and musical performances.
● Play terrace for musical play and a seesaw for younger children.
● Play terrace for physical play including a trampoline and swings for older children.
● Growing terraces with six raised beds for cultivating herbs and vegetables and medicinal plants. There are composting areas so that children can learn about whole life cycles and all biodigestable waste generated on the site is processed in this area.
● Pond to attract wildlife
● An area of natural habitat with a tree house for observation
The endemic areas and growing terraces at EcoPlay have been designed to cultivate interest in young people to grow healthy food and plants that are indigenous to Montserrat.
The centre will be focused on learning through play for young people and adults. The facilities proposed include a learning space, climbing wall, sand play area, swings, slides, tree house, trampoline, growing terraces and a range of musical play equipment. This project will greatly improve and support sustainable livelihoods by nurturing and stimulating the talents of young people, families and visitors to the island. There will be opportunities for youth training and interaction with visiting University researchers.
Trade Industry and Commerce
The learning which will be used for training and activities to stimulate commerce and cottage industries. It will also cater for tourists. It will be possible to hold cultural events, introduce the special wildlife of the island and provide a base for hikers and walkers. It will provide facilities to enable visitors to interact with islanders and promote activities for young people.
This is most ambitious project that FOTBOT has supported. It will cost in total around £240,000 so fundraising will require a major ongoing effort. It has the public support of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, the Montserrat Association for Persons with Disabilities, the Montserrat premier and the Governor. We encourage our members, supporters, and others with an interest in the overseas territories, to support our fundraising efforts.