Section of one of the trails in segments 1 – 4 of WNT The Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) – 115 miles long, spanning the communities of Scotts Head in the south and the Cabrits National Park in the north and passing through a corridor that includes National Parks, local communities, farm lands, forest reserves, and the UNESO acclaimed Morne Trois Pitons World Heritage Site, is now opened for business.The Caribbean’s first and only long distance walking trail consists of 14 segments and connects 29 communities across our nature isle.The Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) holds tremendous potential for tourism and economic development with promise to benefit rural communities, farmers, landowners and hospitality service providers. It is an information-rich resource and an excellent teaching and research tool, and is fast becoming the play ground for those with an interest in the outdoors. From all accounts the interest in the WNT is growing like wild fire, and many have been using the WNT in increasing numbers.The development of the WNT has reached an important milestone – the launch into pilot operation of Segments 1 – 4. This comes with important considerations and responsibilities – all having to do with Dominican’s claiming ownership and taking great pride in all issues relating to the trail. Safety and security of all trail users and preservation of the natural environment and surroundings are now very important.Pilot operation of Segments 1-4 will be lead by the Forestry and Parks Division in collaboration with the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the WNT. This will commence following a grand declaration ceremony being held at Bellevue Chopin, today June 5 2011, World Environment Day.Today climaxes a week of activities that started with a Church Service at the Soufriere Catholic Church, and included a Press Conference in Wotten Waven, and community meetings and unveiling of signs in Laudat, Giraudel, and Bellevue. It also featured a Whistle Stop – motorcade through the southern communities of Tete Morne, Grandbay and Pichelin as well as a From All Angles Television Programme that featured the WNT. Also included in the week was a ‘Meet and Treat land-owners of the Southern Segments’, held at the Sutton Place Hotel, as well as a partnership hike with the Convent High School along Segment 2 of the Trail.Hikers during the “Walk and Smile Again” on Segment 2 of the WNTActivities today started with a ‘Walk and Smile Again’ Hike on Segment 2 of the Trail, held in collaboration with the Kairi FM. Following this there will be a day of fun and activities including organized Farm tours, a Youth Treasure Hunt, a Children’s Relay, a Pop Quiz (to find out just how much you know about the National Trail), and many prizes and surprises. There will also be a special sunset hike organized for the disabled and the elderly, called the ‘Take your time and walk’ hike.The feature of the day will be a special ceremony that will include cultural performances and presentations by Government Officials. Special guest will be Ambassador Diaz of the EC Delegation in Barbados.This ceremony will also see the formal handing over of Segments 1- 4 of the WNT by the PMU Manager Mr. Henry, to Mr. Burton, Director of the Forestry, Wildlife, and Parks Division, as well as a boozai hike, that will feature lapo cabwit drummers and hikers filling the evening sky with burning torches, reminiscent of our slave fore-fathers braving the night time in centuries gone by.The activities will culminate with a musical presentation by the Digital Vybez band of Petite Savanne.Sponsors and partners for the week’s activities included Digicel Dominica Ltd., Dominica Brewery and Beverages Ltd., Kairi Fm, the Environmental Coordinating Unit, the Dominica Cadet Corps, The Division of Forestry Wildlife, and Parks, the Local Government Department, and the Bellevue Chopin Village Council.During the pilot operation, trail users – locals and visitors alike are encouraged to register with either the Forestry and Parks Division or the Management Unit of the WNTP. We ask that hikers do not go alone on the trail, and also request that visitors be told that they are required to obtain site passes especially where the trail traverses eco-sites. We must encourage visitors to purchase eco-site passes, lest we shortchange ourselves, community and country.Dominica must maximize on the prospects the trail will provide – get involved as communities and take advantage of training opportunities to ensure that services offered meet set requirements and standards. Let us police the trail and ensure that visitors adhere to National Parks and other legal regulations. We appeal to all to desist from littering the trail, vandalizing trail infrastructure or engaging in any practices that will negatively affect the environment.The PMU praises and thanks the Almighty for this Nature Isle that we can enjoy and share with others, and also expresses gratitude for the invaluable contributions of the European Union, Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, and the men and women who continue to work tirelessly at implementing the project. We also observe the Waitukubuli Ecological Foundation, for conceptualizing this idea and others who have lent support. Press Release LocalNews Commemorating the Handover of Segments 1-4 of the Waitukubuli National Trail by: – June 6, 2011 Share Share Tweet Sharing is caring! 25 Views no discussions Share
Second-year USC graduate swimming coach Ous Mellouli, in only his second open-water race, won the men’s 10K at the FINA Olympic marathon swimming qualifier in Setubal, Portugal, last week.Mellouli won the race in 1:45:18.5, more than 11 seconds ahead of Canada’s Richard Weinberger, who took second in 1:45:30.2.Mellouli, who swam for the Trojans from 2003 to 2006, was already competing in the 200-meter, 400-meter and 1500-meter freestyle. He was a 2005 NCAA champion in the 400-yard individual medley, a seven-time Pac-10 title winner and a 16-time All-American during his four years.Mellouli won a gold medal in the 1,500-meter in the 2008 Olympics for his native Tunisia — the country’s first ever swimming Olympic title. He graduated with a degree in computer engineering and computer science.