National Parks

HIGH NORTH

Location: Northern section of Carriacou.

NATIONAL PARKS & PROTECTED AREAS CARRIACOU - GOVERNMENT OF GRENADA/OAS PROJECT - THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF A SYSTEM OF NATIONAL PARKS AND PROTECTED AREAS

Red mangrove proproots protect the shoreline, provide habitat for shellfish, and other wildlife.



Summary Description: High North Peak with 955 feet is the highest in Carriacou. Containing important watersheds for the northern part of the Island, this park encompasses the complete spectrum of ecological systems in Carriacou. The finest dry thorn scrub deciduous forests are found on the north west slope descending to seasonal evergreen forests on the alluvial flats leading to L'Ance La Rouche, the most scenic and private beach in Carriacou. Coral reefs and outstanding volcanic and uplifted sedimentary formations are clearly visible. The littoral vegetation of manchineel and coconut is well developed. The entire Park is the most undisturbed area in Carriacou.

The Estate Ruins found overlooking L'Ance La Roche Bay are of significant historical importance. The estate, once comprising about 266 acres of forest and grazing lands, was advertised for sale in the St. George's Chronicle and Grenada Gazette, dated June 7, 1826. (Brinkley, F.K. 1986, Pers. Comm.) At the time it was described as a dwelling house in substantial order. A kitchen, corn house, hospital, cattle pens, and pigeon house were built of mason work. Accompanying the sale were numerous implements necessary for the cultivation of corn and cotton.

Some of the foundations are worthy of restoration and the area provides outstanding opportunities for tourism and environmental education.

The mangrove ecosystems at Petit Carenage Bay are among the most developed in the Country. Both the mangrove swamp formation and the littoral sand beach vegetation are found. Few signs of cropping for charcoal are visible, and as a result, this may be the finest mangrove and mud flat ecosystem found in the country of Grenada.

Significance of the Area: The High North National Park contains some of the most outstanding terrestrial ecosystems in the Country, and due to its importance in the Grenadines, should be recommended as a Biosphere Reserve with UNESCO. The area offers tourist and recreational resources in Carriacou and merits immediate attention. Shipbuilding in Windward presents traditional skills presented in a scenic setting. A bird sanctuary should be established at Petit Carenage where there are many rare migrants as well as resident water birds.

A tour of Carriacou should begin at the Hospital scenic overlook, where the capital Hillsborough and adjacent lands can be seen from a bird's eye view.

Now overgrown with vegetation, the cannon and foundations of the L'Ance la Rouche ruins present fascinating vistas into the past agricultural and military history of Carriacou.

Management Objectives: To provide protection for and maintain in a natural state the ecosystem and habitats of the area, to provide for recreational and educational activities in the forest area, while providing for recreational activities along the coastal areas.

Activities: Formation of a Nature Conservacy as part of the Historical Society of Carriacou to promote tours, birdwatching trips, and oversee the restoration of the area utilizing public and private sector funds.


Protected seascapes

(i) THE LIMLAIR-THIBAUD AREA


Location: South of Point Saint Hilaire in Central eastern Carriacou. Summary Description: This region is fascinating from primarily a cultural and historical vantage point. The long history of livestock development is represented by a hand dug well which is 30 by 20 by 20 feet deep and lined by a rock wall of high quality indicating the intentions of the estate owners were of permanence. The coast is lined with 3 or 4 separate cemeteries dating back to the 1700's, with a tomb and mausoleum of Hugh Monro, Esq., owner of the Limlair Estate dated 1778. On Tarltons Point a cannon can be found resting on the cliff, having been pushed out of place.

Significance of the Area: Presenting fascinating vistas into the military and agricultural history of Carriacou, the area has value for tourism, anthropological research, and education of the local population.

Management Objectives: To protect and restore these valuable cultural features and initiate programs of research, education and tourism.

Activities: Demarcation of boundaries, land tenure investigation, design of tourism and education programs.

Windmills used to dot the landscape all over Grenada and Carriacou which were previously used for investigation. Now the adventure can find foundations of these and other stone works all over the island.


(ii) TYRREL BAY Protected Seascape:


Location: South-west central area of Carriacou.

Summary Description: Carriacou has world renowned fame for the mangrove oyster which comes from the mangrove ecosystem of Tyrrel Bay. The mangrove ecosystem and adjacent salt mud flats show signs of human disturbance, and are recommended for protection because of the foreign exchange generated and employment opportunities presented.

Significance of the Areas: It is an important economic fishing area as well as nursery ground for fish and aquatic life. It has been a traditional yacht anchorage and hurricane hole.

Management Objectives: To protect the mangrove ecosystem while developing the resource for oyster production and to accommodate regulated traditional fishing.

Activities: Demarcation of boundaries, initiation of development, protection and management programme, environmental research programme as is on going with Artisanal Fisheries Project.


(iii) LAURISTON POINT: - Sandy Island -Mabouya Island Protected Seascape.


Location: Central Western section of Carriacou.

Summary Description: Containing an excellent mangrove ecosystem, coral reefs, and island vegetation, this area is highly suitable for tourism. Close to Hillsborough, and the airport, the area provides excellent opportunities for field trips for the schools and community groups. Turtle nesting areas are found on the islands. The mangroves are untouched and are better developed than any noted in Grenada. The area is excellent for birdwatching.

Sandy Island is a favorite mooring spot for yachts.

Significance of the Area: Proximity to the capital of Carriacou and quality ecosystems.

Management Objectives: The area presents opportunities for the area to be developed for recreation, education and tourism, while protecting the valuable natural habitats, especially Sandy Island, where the reefs are reported to show stress due to spear fishing and the reported use of dynamite.

Activities: Demarcation of boundaries, preparation of management and development plan.


(iv) SALINE/WHITE ISLAND AND REEFS


Location: Fifteen miles north - north east of Grenada and one mile south of Carriacou.

Summary Description: Saline Island and White Island present fascinating geology. Saline has a brackish lagoon salt pond surrounded by a mangrove ecosystem. Pyroclastic deposits indicate major volcanic activity and two volcanic plugs are present. Shorebirds can be seen searching for crustaceans in the mud flats of the brackish lagoon and the adjacent coral reefs are unquestionably Grenada's most outstanding. Panoramic views of the reefs may be had from various look out points from both Saline and White Island. White Island is surrounded on three sides by sandy white beaches with diverse untouched littoral vegetation.

Significance of the Area: This area presents one of the most outstanding scenic and tourism resources in the country. Pristine white sandy beaches, unique geology, insights into the anthropological development of the islands, and productive mangroves and salt ponds blend together to present Grenada's finest natural setting. Both White and Saline are some of the most unusual Islands seen in the Grenadines. Both have pyroclastic volcanic plugs which rise 200 feet in height being undercut by wave action. The rock domes are fractured into tall columns. Iguanas were common until the 1960's, but now are much rarer. These Islands would be excellent areas to re-introduce the iguana and provide for their protection.

Howard, 1950 notes that the vegetation on White Island is decidedly unusual in the Lesser Antilles, and more characteristic of the Greater Antilles and Bahamas. Notably, Tournefortia gnaphalodes, Heliotropium indicum, Heliotropium curassavicum, and Euphorbia buxifolia are common.

The adjacent waters present the largest and most diverse coral reefs in Grenada as well as outstanding opportunities for recreation and tourism from Carriacou. The natural features have the potential to be developed for day trips of diving, nature study and scenic appreciation.

Activities: Formation of White Island/Saline Island management committee of interested Carriacou residents, to design protection measures by controlling visitors, yachts, and cruise ships. Monitor the area, enforce, and design visitor tours and facilities.


(v) SABAZAN P.S.


Location: South Eastern Area of Carriacou near Dumfries.

Summary Description: Sabazan was probably the most elaborate of the large estate houses on Carriacou. Constructed in the late 1700's or early 1800's the ruins contain an old well, six foundations, a tower looking towards the sea and an elaborate cistern system. (Frances Kay Brinkley, Pers. Comm.)

Significance of the Area: The ruins reflect the history of agricultural development and the importance of water in Carriacou. It is a site of an important Amerindian settlement. Nearby, at Dumfries is an old Cotton gin, lime factory and French foundation. It is the home of some rare birds, e.g. the mangrove cuckoo.

Management Objectives: To protect the ruins, artifacts, birds; to design programs of educational research to further understand the historical development of Carriacou. To tie in Sabazan, Dumfries, and other protected areas into an around the Island tour for visitors and school groups.

Activities: New area study, protection of the ruins, artifacts, and birds, visitation by school groups.


Natural landmarks

FOSSIL BEDS OF GRAND BAY


Location: 1/2 mile south and 1/2 mile north of Grand Bay Village on the Windward Coast of Carriacou.

Summary Description: Both sites contain about 30 feet of well bedded fine grained ashy shales which are exposed along the shore. Fossils of Gastenopoda, Pleurotoma, Alvitra, Phos, Pyrala and Conus are present. When wet with seawater, the fossils look very well preserved. In some cases, the sharp edged angite crystals have imprints. Trocolyathus and Flabellum can also be seen. The Globorotalia Fobsifobsi (Grand Bay Beds) have been correlated with the Lower Miocene Baitoa formation of the Dominican Republic.

Significance of the Area: The fossil beds are the only known beds in Grenada which are plainly visible. The beds provide excellent opportunities for education, illustrating prehistoric shellfish, some of which are long since extinct.

Management Objectives: To design environmental education programs and protect the fossil beds from further deterioration. To initiate geological research into the importance of the area.

Activities: Review land ownership; design of environmental education program for school system.

Cultural landmarks


(i) BELAIR


Location: North Central Carriacou at 719 feet above sea level.

The Belair Cultural Landscape once served as a headquarters for the People's Revolutionary Army. Historically the property was cultivated in sugar cane and thereafter cotton.

Summary Description: In 1784, John Reid, Esq. owned Belair Estate. An old English great house was completed in 1809. Next to the great house, foundations of an older French house exist, indicative of the amount of times the island of Carriacou changed hands.

The house looks upon the old windmill tower still in excellent condition. At one time the entire area was cultivated in sugar cane to support the mill. Thereafter, at the turn of the century, cotton became the predominate crop. Just down the road is an old windmill foundation which is so intact it could be restored.

During the People's Revolutionary Government, the area was utilized as an Army Camp. At the time of the U.S. and Caribbean Forces intervention of Grenada, a large explosion occurred at the house which remains a mystery. (Frances Kay Brinkley, Pers. Comm.)

Significance of the Area: Belair has both French and English ruins, and the finest sugar mill and windmill foundations on the Island. A large cistern is also in place. The Belair Estate affords one of the most spectacular views on the island.

Management Objectives: To protect the ruins and initiate programs of education and research. Frances Kay Brinkley of the Historical Society has recommended that the Belair house be restored to a cultural and conference center. Funding agencies and private sector initiatives should be sought out to restore the house.

Activities: To promote educational programs, to protect the area with patrols. Construction of visitor facilities and design of a self-guiding cultural trail through the estate and management of the site.


(ii) LA POINTE


Location: South Western tip of Carriacou.

The Fossils Beds Natural Landmark in Carriacou expose millions of years of archeology in the sedimentary and igneous layers.

Portable cannons of this nature could be moved about freely thereby surprising the enemy during the tumultuous times when the British and French were continually fighting for dominion over the Islands.

Summary Description: La Pointe Cultural Landmark is situated in a scenic peninsular and contains the ruins of an old French estate house (Frances Kay Brinkley, Pers. Comm.)

Significance of the Area: As is true of all the old estates. La Pointe gives vistas into the history of Carriacou. Iguanas are found here.

Management Objectives: To protect and continue research into the importance and value of the ruins.

Activities: The declaration of this and all cultural landmarks as areas to be inventoried and studied in more depth.


(iii) DOVER RUINS


Location: 1/4 mile inland North East Carriacou.

Summary Description: The Dover ruins are the site of the first church in Carriacou, and is where Priest Maissoneuve resided. The square cut rocks of the foundation, still in place indicate the importance of northern Carriacou to the first French settlements.

Significance of the Area: The quality of the stone foundation present fascinating opportunities for archeology. The grounds once comprised 16 acres which at one time was Catholic property in Carriacou. Next to it in 1793 was Dover Cottage, a small estate owned by the Anglican Minister, Rev. W. Nash.

Management Objectives: To protect the ruins from any further theft, to tie the area in with an around the Island Tour, and to design programs of cultural education for the local schools.

Activities: Protection of the ruins, visitation by school groups

Excerpts  from the OAS Plan and Policy for a System of National
Parks and Protected Areas 

Comments