Bahrain plans new botanical garden
Manama, June 21, 2012
Bahrain's oldest theme park could soon be transformed into a natural reserve that will feature a major bird sanctuary with artificial water ponds and green zones, which include botanical gardens, said a top official.
The BD4 million ($10.6 million) project will overhaul the 45-year-old Salmaniya Water Garden into a habitat for rare bird species.
The new Botanics Water Garden will also feature tiny islands that would host migrating birds and an educational centre, which aims to educate the public and children on the importance of preserving the environment and its wildlife.
The Manama Municipal Council yesterday agreed on initial plans to revamp the existing facility, which has been neglected for years and turned into a swamp with only a few amusement rides.
According to initial plans, the project could be completed in around three years and it would cover 65,689 sq m with a state-of-the-art entertainment area, public facilities and children's corner.
"Around BD4m will be spent to renovate the old water garden and make it look like a real one," said council services and public utilities committee chairman Fadhel Al Qaidoom.
"It will be developed into a garden that reflects botanical water garden with green walkways, bird sanctuary, green fields and a food court. There will also be a small artificial island that will function as a habitat for migrating birds and we will try our best to preserve old trees in the old park by making it part of the new project. All the rides from the theme park will be replaced by an educational centre and fun areas for children."
Councillors have also allocated part of the garden for parking spaces to prevent traffic jams.
"Residents who live near the park have always complained about how their properties turn into a parking area during Eid and festival times," added Al Qaidoom.
"We came up with an idea of turning a land at south of the park located on Shaikh Salman Road into a car park space for garden visitors."
Manama Municipality director-general Shaikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said the scheme was a step forward for Bahrain in protecting the journey of birds during migration season to the country.
"I think that this is a unique and momentous project that will be popular locally and regionally as it helps in preserving green habitats," he added. "It is an educational and at the same time entertaining facility that people can visit and learn about their own environment,” he said. – TradeArabia News Service
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