Préfet Vincent Berton cuts the ribbon to inaugurate the natural site at Chevrise Pond, assisted by Vice-President Dominique Louisy (left), Territorial Councillor Bernadette Venthou-Dumaine (second right), Conservatoire Overseas Delegate Méhdy Broussillon (right) and local Conservatoire representative Anne-Marie Bouillé (far left). (Robert Luckock photos)
MARIGOT--Despite a wet and muddy morning, a natural site at the Mont Vernon side of Chevrise Pond (L’Étang de Chevrise) was inaugurated Wednesday by Préfet Vincent Berton in the presence of Conservatoire du Littoral officials, Collectivité third Vice-President Dominique Louisy and Territorial Councillor and member of the Conseil des Rivages Français d’Amérique, Bernadette Venthou-Dumaine.
Present for the occasion and to give the introduction was the Assistant Overseas Delegate Medhy Broussillon for Conservatoire du Littoral with local Conservatoire representative Anne-Marie Bouillé and the landscape architects.
Bilingual information boards have been installed along the edge of the pond.
Conservatoire had decided to enhance the natural heritage of the site so it can be appreciated by the public as a place for relaxation, contemplation, trail-walking and bird-watching. The work consisted of restoring the natural environment, improving the conditions for public use and promoting the ecotourism value of the site.
Along the edge of the pond are information boards in English and French explaining the flora and fauna and the birds that are typically seen on the pond. Six benches have been carved out of natural trees. There are also wooden loungers, wooden bridges, and pergolas. Some 500 small plants and trees have been planted.
500 plants and small trees have been planted to enhance the area.
The project is part of a long-term approach to protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity.
"The ponds are part of our cultural heritage, as our ancestors cultivated salt in these areas. We are now at the beginning of a new era of preservation of our natural heritage. Together we can build a sustainable future for St. Martin, where nature and man coexist in harmony,” said Venthou-Dumaine.
The total cost of the work was 135,000 euros, financed 100% by France Relance.