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$3.2M renovation of Parque Forestal La Marquesa in Guaynabo starts

The Parque Forestal La Marquesa in Guaynabo will undergo a $3.2 million renovation that will be paid with local and federal funds to repair hurricane-related damages and ensure that it meets the “highest standards of sustainability, accessibility and resilience,” government officials announced.

The reconstruction project includes repairing the roads leading to the park’s main entrance and those within the facility. Similarly, the butterfly farm, the aviary, roundabouts, children’s play areas, fences, lighting, murals, sidewalks, the observation tower, gazebos and other structures will be rebuilt.

The cost of the work will be covered by $1.5 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state funding and an insurance payout, according to Gov. Pedro Pierluisi; Guaynabo Mayor Edward O’Neill; the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency’s (COR3) executive director, Manuel Laboy; and FEMA’s alternate Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator, Andrés García-Martinó, who were on hand for the project’s groundbreaking.

“We’re pleased with the start of the reconstruction works on some of the phases of our Parque Forestal La Marquesa with a multimillion-dollar investment between federal and state funds and the payment of insurance for the facility, which amounts to $3.2 million,” O’Neill said.

“The repairs to the areas affected by Hurricane María will allow us to reopen this space of great ecological value and important tourist interest for the city,” he said. “This space was not only conceived to mitigate and maintain a lung in the southern area of the city, but it’s a recreational space for the thousands of families who visit the park.”

Currently, the municipality has overseen maintaining the green areas, including the sidewalks that were planned to be reopened to the public, but that O’Neill decided to wait for the project to be completed so that visitors can enjoy all of the park’s amenities.

“Puerto Rico is at a crucial stage in which the efforts of the state, federal and municipal governments and the private sector converge to revitalize and give resilience to natural areas,” Laboy said.

“We’re committed to restoring this iconic park, providing a safe and inviting environment for everyone to enjoy. The reconstruction of the La Marquesa represents a significant step toward the recovery of our natural heritage, and at COR3 we’re committed to assisting the municipality in the technical procedures until it is reopened, complying with the applicable regulations,” he said.

The project will include mitigation measures to strengthen the structures that make up the recreational space, which spans 600 acres. The measures include using materials with greater resistance to weather conditions, roof and equipment anchors, materials to prevent surface erosion and replacing cisterns.

“The funds for this recreational attraction help preserve the green areas of Cerro La Marquesa and provide space for neighboring communities and their visitors to enjoy a place of recreation, in the middle of the urban area,” said García-Martinó.

According to the government’s Quarterly Progress Report, the municipality of Guaynabo is overseeing 159 reconstruction projects. Of these, 92 are in the construction acquisition process, which have an estimated obligation of $30 million.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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