Growing Communities is also Growing the Future
The Growing Communities initiative is a public-private partnership between Dart Cayman Islands and the Cayman Islands Government which creates community parks within the Bodden Town area of Grand Cayman. It is part of a larger sustainability plan being carried out by Dart Cayman Islands that focuses on adding value to Grand Cayman while also contributing to the environment. This partnership, which facilitates the restoration, development and maintenance of public community parks, is only a small step towards the larger goal of a more community-based culture.
The visionary behind this park initiative is Ken Dart, owner of Dart Enterprises Ltd., who has always appreciated natural landscapes and believes that open gathering spaces can inspire people to get together. His community vision has touched other parts of the Cayman Islands already, with his development of Camana Bay, a master planned community based on the principles of New Urbanism. New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes neighborhoods with a range of housing and job types and therefore allowing for a primarily walking culture.
These New Urban values were applied toward the construction of each of the District Parks. Since 2001, Growing Communities has designed and built five parks, as well as assisting with the restoration of six more Grand Cayman public parks. The parks are open to the public every day of the week from sun up to sun down. There are many social and economic benefits to these parks specifically, including environmental protection, community interaction and an improved quality of life for all Cayman Islands residents.
A typical park will include cabanas, a green area for sporting activities such as football, a restroom, playground equipment, a basketball court and grilling stations. The Dart Family Park also contains a waterfront amphitheater, thereby encouraging outdoor neighborhood events. The idea is for the parks to provide a safe area for children to play, while proving an attractive environment for residents of all ages. In a move that speaks to a community culture already present in Grand Cayman, the residents will be responsible for the upkeep of all of the parks once they are completed.