PRESS RELEASE – The Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF) continued its renovation and maintenance campaign with attention being given to the highly acclaimed Gros Piton Nature Trail. The iconic attraction which makes up part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated World Heritage site in Saint Lucia, boasts a unique mountain climbing experience and adventure escapade.
Over the past few years the nature trail has been in a state of disrepair having suffered the effects of consistent weathering through adverse inclement weather conditions, coupled with wear and tear through the continuous trekking of visitors on excursions.
A number of persons from the Fond Gens Libre community and environs were contracted and given the mandate by the SRDF to raise the tourist attraction’s profile to ensure satisfaction to international appeal and the preservation of the product experience.
The construction of approximately 1,200 feet of wooden railings on the trail to the summit of piton peak was undertaken to replace the slew of badly damaged, rotten and washed away railings which had far outlived their purpose. On the ground level the entrance of the site received a major boost with the construction of a new parking lot facility in addition to repairs to the existing car park. New signage was also erected to introduce visitors to the Gros Piton experience with repairs to drains, road edges and an extensive de-bushing and terracing exercise.
“The SRDF is actively in the process of raising the profile of our operational sites, we recognize how important it is to successful manage this tremendous attraction and must ensure we remain competitive and relevant in the tourist industry, additionally plans have been made to upgrade the trail’s interpretation centre with additional office equipment and audio visual aids,” said Mr. Jimmy Haynes, Executive Director of the SRDF.
“We are overjoyed and satisfied with the work done at the nature trail; we strongly believe that the enhancements done will serve as a great incentive for our visitor’s to return, “said Ms. Calixta Charles, Office Administrator (Gros Piton Nature Trail). Ms. Charles also indicated that there had been a marked and significant increase in staff morale amongst her colleagues after the refurbishments.
The rehabilitation work which cost approximately $30,000.00 also included the tiling of washrooms and painting to the site’s interpretation centre and central administrative office.
The Soufriere Foundation is a non-profit company located in Soufriere. Its mandate is to undertake social, cultural, human resource, tourism and infrastructure development in the Soufriere area. The organization which was established in 1993 generates revenues from its operational sites: the Sulphur Springs Park, Gros Piton Nature Trail, Comfort Center, Soufriere jetties and 88.5 Soufriere FM.