Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The New Road Family Park is set to reopen its doors in late January 2023, catering to families and children across St. Kitts to play and unwind in a safe and fun-filled environment.
The family park was closed in 2020 as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While it was closed, the Ministry of Social Development, with financial support from the Republic of China (Taiwan) undertook a renovation project that included replacing all the play equipment, correcting slippage on the eastern side of the park, and upgrading the bathrooms, plumbing, and facility lighting.
On Thursday (December 29, 2022), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Development, the Honourable Geoffrey Hanley, as well as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Azilla Clarke, did a walk-through of the facility ahead of the reopening.
“The New Road Family Park is a model for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis as it provides a family-friendly, safe space for family cohesion, parties, celebrations, and just an opportunity for overall wellness as a family unit,” Ms. Clarke stated.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Hanley said that the reopening of the family park is highly anticipated by residents within Central Basseterre and surrounding communities. He noted that the fun-filled environment will help to relieve some of the post-COVID anxiety that some persons are still struggling with. Depression and increased anger are some of the notable mental side effects of the extended lockdown periods.
“Having this park and similar parks would give that opportunity for persons to be more relaxed and feel a little bit freer rather than being locked in,” Dr. Hanley indicated. “I believe this in itself would become a form of therapy for families in terms of expression … and even people just having to sit, like I am right now under the gazebo, and I am enjoying the breeze, looking at the colours of the [play] equipment that is here, that in itself is a form of therapy.”
The Deputy Prime Minister thanked the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its continued support of this project. He added that similar parks will be established in communities across St. Kitts as part of the government’s wellness policy.