St. Kitts Eco-Park: Green Energy and Beauty on Display

Experiencing the St. Kitts Eco-Park (SKEP) is sure to awaken or enhance one’s appreciation for green energy. Situated on the northwest side on the island, near the town of Sandy Point, the park sits in a perfection location. The views both inside and beyond the grounds present Nature at its best.

Entry to SKEP.  Photo by Brian Huang
Entry to SKEP. Photo by Brian Huang | Source

The project is the combined effort of Taiwan in East Asia and St. Kitts-Nevis in the East Caribbean. “We have witnessed tremendous progress in our bilateral relations“ said the Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2013, “especially with all the cooperation projects . . . which have already been very successful in promoting the ties of friendship and co-operation between the two countries.”1 His Excellency David Yung-la-Lin was speaking at a dinner celebrating 30 years of friendship between Taiwan and St. Kitts-Nevis.

Floral Maps of Taiwan (left) and St. Kitts (right) on SKEP grounds -  Photo by CJ Staff
Floral Maps of Taiwan (left) and St. Kitts (right) on SKEP grounds - Photo by CJ Staff | Source

After three years of construction, SKEP was officially opened on November 22, 2014, and launched as a tangible symbol of friendship between the two countries. St. Kitts Minister of Agriculture, Nigel Carty called it an important stride “towards ensuring that the people of St Kitts and Nevis . . . experience ecotourism, green technology and the development of a unique agro-tourism product.”2

SKEP displays a “4G” concept: (1) Green Energy operating a (2) Greenhouse and other (3) Green Buildings on a beautiful (4) Green Landscape.


(1) Green Energy

Energy at the SKEP is generated by solar panels using photovoltaics (the direct conversion of light into energy). The panels move to follow the sun, making them far more efficient than stationary solar panels.

Some benefits3 of solar energy are obvious:

  • It is sustainable and renewable which means it will not run out.
  • It removes dependence on the utility company and its pollutants.
  • Solar panels are environment-friendly working silently as they convert sunlight into energy.

Agriculture workshops are on the SKEP agenda, and attendees have the opportunity to learn about and purchase solar products.

Solar Panels at SKEP
Solar Panels at SKEP | Source

(2) Greenhouse

The main attraction on the park grounds is the multifunctional greenhouse (more than 78 ft. tall, more than 14,000 sq. ft.) which is the largest in the Caribbean.4

The greenhouse is comprised of 1,600 pieces of glass5 and sports the flags of both countries at the entrance. Inside, various flowers and fruit trees are cultivated for display and for sale.

The greenhouse at SKEP
The greenhouse at SKEP | Source
The St. Kitts flag on the left, the Taiwan flag on the right at the main greenhouse entry
The St. Kitts flag on the left, the Taiwan flag on the right at the main greenhouse entry | Source
Variety on flowers for display and for sale - Photo Credit: Thanks to Renee P.
Variety on flowers for display and for sale - Photo Credit: Thanks to Renee P. | Source
Calla Lilies close up
Calla Lilies close up | Source

(3) Green Buildings

In addition to the greenhouse, there are a few other buildings on the St. Kitts Eco- Park compound. There are two gift shops—one representing St. Kitts, the other Taiwan, each promoting items from their respective countries. The shops are attached, symbolizing the bond between the countries they represent. There are also two visitor centers and a tea shop.

The St.Kitts gift shop on the left, the Taiwan gift shop on the right
The St.Kitts gift shop on the left, the Taiwan gift shop on the right | Source

All the buildings are constructed with GFRC6 (glass-fiber reinforced concrete) which is 3 times lighter and 5 times harder than normal concrete. The strength is derived from high contents of alkali resistant glass fibers and acrylic polymer; and the polymer makes the concrete flexible and resistant to cracking.

GFRC is considered a green material because it is comprised of natural products like sand and stone which have no harmful effects on the environment. The glass elements are from recycled materials and the fly ash in the cement is from the waste produced by industrial smokestacks. The use of GFRC not only makes the St. Kitts Eco-Park eco-friendly, but also gives it a beautiful and modern look.


(4) Green Landscape

With all this information about green energy and green buildings, the visitor may develop a deep sense of admiration for the workmanship; but on strolling around the 20-acre property, the visitor will likely add separate praise for Nature itself. There are several reasons.

  • Tropical fruits take up the most space in the abundant display, but there are also exotic plants, a local medicinal herb garden, a rose garden, a desert garden and floral maps of St. Kitts and Taiwan.

Colorful display of zinnias with the mountains in the background
Colorful display of zinnias with the mountains in the background | Source
Desert Garden photo by Brian Huang
Desert Garden photo by Brian Huang | Source
  • Colors of flowers and shrubs in the open areas are as appealing as in the greenhouse.
  • In the distance, the majestic Liamuiga, the highest mountain peak (3,792 feet / 1,156 meters) in the Federation, can be seen.
  • The Dutch islands of St. Eustatius and Saba, just across the Caribbean Sea are also within full view from the watchtower.

In addition, the railway which runs near the park offers opportunity to see the tourist scenic train passing by.

The best way to experience SKEP is to come walk the grounds. Travel requirements and instructions for tourists, plus tips to maximize the joy of the journey are available from St.Kitts-Nevis embassies. Maps and contact information for embassies in the United States and the United Kingdom are provided below. SKEP is worth the trip from anywhere in the world.

References

1. SKN Choice Times: Taiwan’s Foreign Minister hails 30-year relationship with St. Kitts and Nevis (02/07/2013)

2 & 4. Caribbean News Now: St Kitts-Nevis opens largest greenhouse in the Caribbean, (11/22/2014)

3. Red: Renewable Energy Development, Benefits of Solar Energy, (01/07/2012)

5. Caribbean Journal Staff: Caribbean Journal, St. Kitts and Nevis Set to Complete First Phase of Agro-Tourism Farm, (03/27/20130

6. Carter, Matthew and Frank, Terry: GFRC Construction: GFRC Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (visited 4/27/2015)

A markerSt. Kitts-Nevis -
Embassy of St. Kitts & Nevis, 3216 New Mexico Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20016, USA
[get directions]

A markerSt. Kitts-Nevis Embassy at 10 Kensington Court London W8 5DL United Kingdom -
10 Kensington Court, Kensington, London W8 5DL, UK
[get directions]

© 2015 Dora Isaac Weithers

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Comments 44 comments

phildazz profile image

phildazz 19 months ago from Toronto

Beautiful article in every sense. I stopped off in St. Kitts a few times while in transition but never in my wildest dream ever thought St. kitts is this beautiful. Thanks for the enlightenment!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 19 months ago from USA

I enjoyed this not only as eye candy but also for its green contribution/environmental value. What a wonderful hub, Ms. Dora!


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 19 months ago from United States

Nice work my friend. Just to think what our [planet might be like if we had joined together years ago to use this kind of energy.whonu


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 19 months ago from Central Florida

This looks like a lovely way to spend an afternoon, Dora. The gardens are stunning. I was a little surprised to read there's a train that runs through this eco-friendly park. What fuels the train?


billybuc profile image

billybuc 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

What a wonderful idea for a part. I wonder if there is anything like this in the United States? Now you have me curious. Thank you for a very informative and interesting article about a subject that is near and dear to my heart.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

PhilDazz, here's hoping that on your next you stop off in St.Kitts, you actually time to visit and include SKEP. You deserve the experience!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Flourish, glad you enjoy the article. Thanks for your kind comment.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Whonu, thanks for sharing that positive thought. We can only imagine. The friendship and cooperation which produced SKEP is an inspiration.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Shauna, that's a good question. Thanks for the observation. The train may not be on green energy yet. It passes "near" the park not through it, but who knows? Its operators may be encouraged to get on board the eco-friendly system of operation.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Bill, thanks for your encouragement. Always happy when I write something that you approve.


ArtDiva profile image

ArtDiva 19 months ago from Yountville, CA

Interesting Hub, MsDora! There should be so much more attention throughout the world given green energy eco-friendly practices such as this little island of St. Kitts exhibits. What's really interesting is that the solar panels move to follow the sun, and the buildings are constructed with glass-fiber reinforced concrete lighter and harder than normal concrete.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago

Love the beautiful photos. Voted up. I am making a bet on a solar future one day by how I invest.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 19 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

MsDora, this is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when people come together in friendship. Great hub, the zinnas took me right back to the Grenadines and my first garden, those beautiful blooms shines like jewels under the Caribbean sun, gorgeous images.

As always, excellent work. Best wishes to you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Hi Margaret, St. Kitts is small, but seem to be taking green energy seriously--plus they have some help. Your observation is really complimentary.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks poetryman! Best to you going forward!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Jo, thanks for underscoring the memories. Every garden in my childhood neighborhood had zinnias. Flower gardens don't seem to be such a big deal now, but those "gorgeous images" stay in our minds.


Kittitian Abroad 19 months ago

Very informative piece. I will definitely have to come to experience it for myself. A well put together piece . Appropriate pics and all.


Homeplace Series profile image

Homeplace Series 19 months ago from Hollister, MO

What fun! Thanks for sharing!! ;-)


word55 profile image

word55 19 months ago from Chicago

The discovery of more beauty seems to be your thing. You're filled with fantastic surroundings. Thank you for sharing with beautiful pictures.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Kittitian, SKEP is another reason to re-visit. Thanks for the kind comments.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Bill, you're welcome. Glad you had fun --double fun on the grounds!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Word, what a nice thing to say! Great to share beauty in whatever form. Thanks for your kind thoughts.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 19 months ago from USA

It really is a beautiful island. Our plane briefly stopped there on a return trip from another Caribbean island that's not nearly so beautiful, and I wanted to get out.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Ologsinquito, hope you schedule a visit on you next Caribbean trip. You'll be glad you did.


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 19 months ago from Lincolnshire, England

St. Kitts looks to be such a fabulous place to live and SKEP seems to be building a noteworthy bridge between the two of you.

Beautiful photos, as always.

Warm Regards,

R.Q.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Romeos, you're a good judge. I was privileged to visit SKEP for the first time earlier this month. I was fascinated and only half the story has been told. Thanks for your comment. Thanks also for your warm regards. Same to you!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

I love the full green here MsDora and the photos were dead on.. bravo :)


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 19 months ago from london

A most beautiful and ecological Hub, Dora. Very wholesome and endearing and indeed given the money, I would take up your offer at the end. Great scenery or should I say Botany. The flora of the country is exquisite and you do your country well.

Are things working well with the Taiwanese? I believe that they are in Grenada too. Solar panels are catching on and is much needed in Africa. We as the African Club are working on this. Much love.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Frank. Not my usual kind of article but I enjoyed it, glad you do too.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Manatita, I don't hear any complaints about the Taiwanese, plus their tea at SKEP is tasty and refreshing. Great success to the African Club and their endeavors. Best to you, personally.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 19 months ago from london

Much gratitude .....much


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 19 months ago from New Delhi, India

A very important hub indeed not only for its beautiful pictures but for the environment concerns it deals with. Such Eco parks are rare, especially in Metro cities due to rapid Urbanization.

Well presented, informative and beautiful hub and I hope it spreads awareness as well.

Thank you and voted up!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Chitrangada, thanks for affirming the importance of eco-living. I appreciate your comment and your votes.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 19 months ago from The Beautiful South

So interesting and fascination. Guess we all love green and this is an ultimate of it. Thanks so much for sharing and all the great photos! God bless you and Happy Mother's Day.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

Hi MsDora,

I missed this wonderful hub here, but so glad I found it! What an eye-opener as to how to do green. Your choice of imagery is beautiful as well as your photos.

What a phenomenal project. I hope these catch on for the benefit of all.

Well done.

Up ++++ tweeting, pinning and sharing

God bless you


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Hi Faith, glad you found it too. I believe that it is an eye opener and an inspiration to many. Thanks for reading and sharing. Hope all is well with you and family.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 19 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO

MsDora, This is my kind of vacation spot. The hub is a beautifully written and researched article. If I were there, I wouldn't want to leave. But I bet you hear that a lot living in Caribbean Islands.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 19 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Patsybell, thanks for visiting the hub; now you just have to visit the island, then choose to leave or not. Either way, both you and I would be glad you came.


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 18 months ago from Essex, UK

Useful article MsDora about a project which seems very well worthwhile promoting, and apparently a very good illustration of cooperation between these two island nations. Alun


MsDora profile image

MsDora 18 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Alun. Kittitians benefit from this display of beauty and friendship. Cooperation rocks.


Santosh 18 months ago

Wow .I'm honored to be a part of your site. Thanks for indnucilg me in You Pedal , Jami. Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading about all the great cycling stories ahead.Darryl


MsDora profile image

MsDora 18 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Darryl, happy to have you. I appreciate your support and hope I will keep your interest.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 17 months ago from sunny Florida

What a wonderful what to help protect our planet. Thank you for sharing this gem with us, Ms. Dora.

Hoping all is good with you and yours.

Angels are headed your way this afternoon. ps


MsDora profile image

MsDora 17 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Patricia, so happy to share this wonderful project. Thanks for the comment and as always, the angels.

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