YouthPATH contributed to the construction of the Kids’ Discovery Zone (KDZ) Interpretive Centre. The KDZ is a facility designed to facilitate play among children aged 3-11 years while educating them about the environment of the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park, Jamaica.
Project leader: Yanique Powell, Marolyn Lucy Gentles
Lead organisation: YouthPATH
Other organisations: Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust; Jamaica International Insurance Company; Ministry of Education Youth and Culture; National Environment and Planning Agency
Timeframe: September 2005 - February 2006
- All the Basic to Primary School children within the parishes of close proximity to the Park (St. Andrew, Portland, and Kingston) will be made environmentally aware by their Holywell "Enviro-Kids" experience.
- To fill the need for recreational and educational activities for children in Jamaica.
- Raise awareness about the BJMNP in young children through play.
- Develop in children an early appreciation for nature.
- Contribute methodology and resource to early childhood education.
- Add value to the heritage and tourism product of Holywell.
- Provide income to YouthPATH trainee rangers through employment.
- To engage YouthPATH participants in the project.
- Complete the construction of the Tody House playground.
- Assist with the preparation of environmental interpretive packages for the children visiting the park preparation of informative signs, and the provision of speakers and music equipment.
- Conduct a survey of 50 visitors (25 adults, 25 children) before and after their visit to record the effectiveness of the playground in teaching about / and creating awareness of the National Park.
- Conduct a survey of all the Youth rangers who assisted in the project to determine (a) ways in which the project can be improved in the future and (b) ways in which they benefited personally and professionally from the project.
- Publicize the activities through local radio, television and newspapers to increase visitor arrivals, especially families with young children and school groups to Holywell.
- Provide photographs and at least 60 minutes video footage of the various games and environmental activities conducted in the playground.
Youths from diverse backgrounds came together and successfully overcame the many obstacles presented by the project, in particular a period of bad weather that made working on the facility difficult.
The response to the playground has been overwhelming and the park has welcomed 3 large groups since January 2006 in addition to welcoming daily visitors.