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Sep 7, 2006

Scotiabank teams with city to improve park

Story PictureWith the Belize City Council strapped for funds, municipal officials are finding unique ways to move forward with improvements in the old capital. One trend I witnessed this morning and we are sure to see more of is partnering with the private sector.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
It?s a spacious public area in a nice part of town ? but over the year?s Lopez Mateos Park has fallen on hard times.

Laura Esquivel, City Councillor, Parks
?It?s truly amazing to me that we could have allowed our parks to become the way they are. We really need to instil civic pride back into the residents of Belize.?

The Belize City Council hopes to see the park restored and enjoyed ? and not only by our four legged friends, one of whom clearly appreciated the freshly cut lawn. The clean up was part of preparations for a very special occasion.

Sarah Hobbs, Senior Manager, Business Support, Scotiabank, Belize LTD.
?Well we are really happy to adopt a park in Belize, in Belize City as part of our efforts to give back to the communities in which we live.?

Today the Belize City Council officially handed over the management of the park to Scotiabank Belize Limited. The working relationship is part of an ongoing initiative by city councillor Laura Esquivel.

Laura Esquivel
?We have been reaching out to the business community and to our business partners to assist us in giving back to the community. And so by having them adopt the park.?

?Since we have gotten into office, this is the third official adoption. But before the end of October, we will have two more adopted. We are already in talks we are just trying to come up with the exact park that that business person is going to adopt and the costing for them.?

Soctiabank?s Sarah Hobbs says it?s all in keeping with their theme.

Sarah Hobbs
?Our theme generally revolves around families, children and women and education. Those are some of the key areas where we feel we can really make a difference.?

Laura Esquivel
?Definitely the fence needs some work. There are two fountains in this park that will need renovation. We will also need the basketball court to be fixed up. Definitely we want the equipment for the kids to be in working condition, so that the kids can truly enjoy their park.?

It is not the first time that Scotiabank has extended a helping hand to the community. In fact it has made significant contributions to Haven House, the shelter for battered and abused women, The Young Women?s Christian Association, The Gift of Life and the Belize Emergency Response Team.

Sarah Hobbs
?This park is unique. We really like it in the sense that it?s a park that?s stimulate activities and sporting events. I think that children and young people really learn from engaging themselves in sports.?

The adoption programme seeks to uplift all of the city parks.

Laura Esquivel
?It?s amazing that we have a lot of places that are park reserves that have never been developed into parks. We also have parks that have deteriorated and so to date, the last count I got yesterday was twenty-seven park reserves.?

If your business house is interested in adopting a park please contact Councillor Laura Esquivel at the Belize City Council.

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