Tri-Centennial Park is a four level resting and viewing area in the town of St George on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. I explore this area in my you tube video ‘The Secrets of Sendall Tunnel in Grenada‘.
Since publishing the video I found out that the park was constructed for very important reasons and so I decided to share my findings in a blog. I suggest watching the video before reading the rest of this blog.
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In my video I introduce viewers to a ‘secret space’ above the tunnel. I call it a ‘secret space’ because at the time of filming I didn’t know it had an official name – found out a couple of days later – had no clue how long it had been there or who had constructed it. And every time I say ‘relax’ or ‘shade’ in the video take a shot, by the end you will be very tipsy!
Before filming I conducted a quick unofficial survey in town. I asked ten local Grenadians, all strangers, if they knew of the space above the tunnel. I even asked the couple who run a local gift shop. No one was familiar except one person who said “oh you mean that seating area”. I asked if they knew when it was constructed, by whom or anything about the plaques bearing peoples names on the walls. They answered no each time.
The first time I went to the park I entered from the bottom. The image below is looking down towards the entrance. I was on my way to visit a family member in hospital and had never walked up these particular steps as there are at least three other ways to get to the hospital. Also, this area was previously over-run by bush so it was not easy to see from the road. The steps, in the centre of the image, on the right, leads to the first ‘secret space’.
The image below is my view as I make my way up the stairs. The red painted area on the left is the first ‘secret space’ which I will call Level One.
Imagine my surprise, when walking up these stairs for the first time, to come across a seating area that I had no clue existed. This space is made up of two concrete seats and a vibrant red wall.
The floor was swept clean and a black bin liner was tied to a fence so I knew it was a space that was being maintained. When you sit on the seats you are rewarded with a lovely view of the financial buildings opposite, you can also see people and cars as they enter the Sendall Tunnel directly below.
Considering how close this area is to the road it is a surprisingly relaxing space but I couldn’t understand why no shading was included in the design.
One of the concrete seats has the name Preston carved across it and I wondered of the significance of this word. Is it the name of the company that made the seats, the designer of the space or in commemoration of someone. All I know is those concrete seats are VERY hot, if sat upon in the middle of the day, so if you do visit I suggest bringing a blanket and an umbrella for shading.
In this same area there are stairs that lead to … nowhere! This got my mind racing. Where were those stairs supposed to lead to? The plot thickens.
I make my way further up the main stairs and I turn at another gap on the left. I will call this space Level Two.
In my video, as I turn on to Level Two, I missed a plaque that was on a wall just beyond. If you stop my video at 06.27 you will see where I missed the plaque but here is an image below.
This is the plaque that would provide more information on the whole space. I saw this plaque a couple days after publishing the video. I was on my way down the stairs after visiting the same family member in hospital.
According to the plaque, Tri-Centennial Park was opened on 23 November 2011 to commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the town of St George.
Now that I had a name for the space I did a google search for more information and found out the following.
An article on the Grenada Government website mentions a 2009 sod turning ceremony which is when work began on the park. It also lists the various government bodies involved in creating the space and announced a Tri-Centennnial event to be held on the Carenage in March 2010. Read the full article here.
I also came across this lovely ad promoting the forthcoming Tri-Centennial events in 2010 in Grenada.
Then on local news site, Now Grenada, I found an article from 2013 on the unveiling of a new plaque for the site. The plaques bare the names of people who are now deceased but contributed to the development of the town of St George. The plan was to have new plaques added annually. Read the full article here:
So what happened? For some reason the park was not completed and left unattended for a few years. It was then overtaken by weeds and bushes. But who cleaned it up?
I then found this news report from January 2018 by local TV channel, Grenada Broadcasting Network. According to this report the Community Relations Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force partnered with Grenada Tourism Authority and other stake holders to conduct a clean-up of the park. This report also says the Community Relations Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force have adopted responsibility for the park.
So let’s continue our exploration of the park. In the images below is the plaque on Level Two, referred to in the Now Grenada article.
At the top of the plaque it says “This wall was erected in tribute of those who made significant contribution to the development of the town of Grenada”
I also took images of some of the names on the plaque. As mentioned before, the people commemorated here contributed to the development of the town of St George and the plan was for new plaques to be added annually.
I continue to walk up to the Third Level where I was greeted by four concrete seats, again with no shade, but if you have a blanket and large umbrella it would be a lovely and relaxing space to hang.
But the most interesting section in Tri-Centennial park is the area shaped like an Amphitheatre. It is so inviting, I could imagine myself sitting there for hours with a good book, listening to music or just to relax and enjoy the views.
I could see a lot of hard work went into the making of this park which is why it was a shame to see it not being used more, except for one guy who sat on its edges to catch the shade of an overhanging tree.
The view from the Amphitheatre on the Third Level is both stunning and very relaxing and there is also a lovely breeze too!
I noticed on the floor, by the Amphitheatre, slabs of wood and as I looked over the railings I could see the beginnings of construction work. Maybe the stairs to nowhere will lead to this construction. All I can do is wonder.
I walk up a couple more steps to a Fourth Level which is a pathway leading back to the main stairs. I’m thinking the wall here was possibly intended for more plaques to commemorate people who contributed to the development of the town of St George!
Below is the view from the top of the main stairs looking down just above the Fourth Level. A young man is sitting on a wall and hiding from the sun under the shade of a tree. If Tri-Centennial park were to have shading I could imagine it would be a very popular spot for hanging out.
The main stairs leads to a road above and this is the view looking back at the Carenage, abandoned Library and financial buildings – and what a stunning view it is!
I took a picture at this very spot a few years ago, when Tri-Centennial park was overgrown with bush which is why I had not noticed it before.
Next to Tri-Centennial park are derelict buildings, a stark reminder of the devastating effects of Hurricane Ivan which passed through Grenada in 2004 leaving destruction in it’s wake.
It is not clear why Tri-Centennial park was never completed and eventually abandoned. The plaques commemorating those who contributed to the development of the town of St George was a great initiative and its a pity that it was not continued.
But I am very pleased to see the park is restored and continues to be maintained and I commend the Grenada police for making it happen. All it needs now is some shading to help it on its way to becoming an Oasis in the centre of town, a space for relaxation and reflection.
If you live on Grenada, or visiting the beautiful Isle of Spice, I hope you get to experience this little known area. And if you do please let me know in this blog, on my Instagram or in the comments in my you tube channel.