Staff of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank cleaning up Nature Fun Ranch. (GP)
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After 20 years, the Nature Fun Ranch is making a big step towards sustainability.
Director Corey Lane said a push in that direction came with the timely intervention of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, whose staff visited the ten acre plot at Bruce Vale Plantation, St Andrew recently to assist with a major clean-up and debushing.
The youth and community project is focused on helping at risk young people develop holistically.
The employees from varying ranks not only brought a healthy monetary donation but they worked alongside the ranch’s young people clearing shrubbery, painting fences, making benches and generally readying the premises for activities that Lane hopes will allow the ranch to earn its keep.
Lane explained that they were aiming to significantly reduce the ranch’s dependence on donations by 2020. The aim is to raise revenue from guided tours, food crop and animal production as well as specialised services to reform children who are suspended or expelled from school as well as other at-risk youth.
He therefore thanked CIBC FirstCaribbean for its contribution, noting that about four years ago, the ranch relocated to Bruce Vale which suited its purpose of using agriculture, equestrian, adventure and other outdoor pursuits to produce well rounded civic-minded individuals. He pointed out that the ranch now had a board of directors and an advisory board comprising prominent citizens.
Lane said the place needed a lot of work including repairing the former manager’s residence and transforming it into a club house; de-bushing and making paths more accessible.
Lane said that CIBC’s generosity would help the fun ranch to get its fund-raising projects going and he hoped that it would soon be able to offer a stipend to its camp directors and assistants, who are currently full time volunteers.
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s managing director for Barbados Donna Wellington presented the cheque to Lane.
She stressed the importance of having projects targeted at the development of young people, adding that the bank was happy to contribute to such nation building ventures.
The records of the Nature Fun Ranch indicate that 2 074 people had passed through its doors as of April 2017. (PR/NB)