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Grenada

Grand Etang Forest Reserve

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Conservation benefit: Viewing towers, picnic tables, and interpretive signs for the Grand Etang Forest Reserve

Date Approved: 06.2012

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

The 3,088-acre Grand Etang Forest Reserve, established in 1906, is the oldest and largest protected area in Grenada. Grand Etang’s varied elevation and terrain maintain several different ecological subsystems, culminating in elfin woodlands high up the slopes of the reserve’s central mountains.

The focal point of the forest reserve is the 36-acre Grand Etang Lake, which fills the crater of an extinct volcano. The rainforest around the lake holds a rich diversity of flora and fauna. There are colorful tropical birds, tiny frogs, lizards, and rare orchids, as well as towering mahogany and giant gommier trees, a multitude of ferns, tropical flowers, and other indigenous plants. Grand Etang, in St. Andrew’s Parish, is the most popular inland attraction on the island, visited by tens of thousands of people annually. Grand Etang Forest Reserve suffered great devastation from both Hurricanes Ivan and Emily, in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

Seacology is funding the construction of three viewing towers, picnic tables, and interpretative signage for the reserve. The towers and signage will be placed at three strategic locations within the reserve. The tables will be installed in a designated picnic area on the shores of Grand Etang Lake.

Project Updates

January 2016

This project was completed in late 2015, when construction of the third viewing tower was finished. The project also included construction of three picnic benches, and the purchase of a dozen durable garbage bins, to be placed next to the towers, tables, and other sites within Grand Etang.

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May 2015

After many delays, work on this project resumed in February. During a visit by the Chief Forestry Officer, his immediate predecessor and Seacology Field Representative Tyrone Buckmire in early February, it was discovered that the partially constructed third viewing tower was structurally unsound. As a result, new, longer logs had to be harvested for pillars, and deeper holes had to be dug. The tower is expected to be built by the end of June. The other components of the project will be undertaken soon after.

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January 2015

Two of the proposed three viewing towers have been completed and opened for public use, and foundation work on tower three has begun.

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June 2014

Viewing tower two has been completed and opened for public use, while some of the foundation work on tower three has begun. This work started on Wednesday April 23rd, and the Forestry and National Parks Department staff responsible for its completion has assured Field Representative Tyrone Buckmire that the tower will be completed by the end of May.

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Full or partial funding for this project provided by Seacology Japan.

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