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Developer Transfers 52 Acres Of Land To Caguas
Donation Puts Ecological Corridor Project Closer To Realization; Will Help Develop Nature Tourism On The Island
BY JOSE L. CARMONA
November 7, 2002
Ramon Fuentes, the developer of Los Prados residential project in Caguas, has donated 52.4 acres of land to the City of Caguas to help create the Caguitas River / Aguas Buenas Caves ecological corridor.
This area of great ecological and archeological value is dotted with forests, petroglyphs, rock formations, and creeks, among other attractions.
These 52.4 acres, along with 58.3 acres donated by Hacienda San Jose project developer Levitt Homes and 46.6 acres that already belonged to Caguas, will be used for a 157.3-acre nature tourism project bordering the Caguitas River, including the Aguas Buenas cave system.
The projects main attraction will be the $6 million Criollo Park and Botanical Gardens complex. The Botanical Gardens will have trails along the Algarrobo Creek, impacting only 3% of the land. The remaining 97% will be returned to its natural state and preserved.
The Aguas Buenas Caves will be the main ecotourist focus. There is mounting interest to declare the area of the caves a natural reserve through legislation.
The caves and the river will be integrated into the urban centers of Caguas and Aguas Buenas through the establishment of urban forests and the development of Caguitas Rivers shore and creeks.
Some $150,000 has been allocated for the project, of which $100,000 was provided by the City of Caguas and $50,000 by State Rep. Sylvia Corujo for the projects master plan. It will take about a year for Neftali Garcia to draft the master plan, after a battery of scientistsmicrobiologists, chemists, botanists, zoologists, and plannersresearch the proper development required by this special, protected land.
Recently, Willie Miranda Marin and Buenaventura Davila, mayors of Caguas and Aguas Buenas, respectively, signed an agreement to work together on behalf of this ecological corridor. The two will also provide ways to preserve the forests that sustain the water systems of the Caguitas River and the Aguas Buenas Caves.
Miranda Marin praised the work of the projects pro-environmental developers, who havent impacted the rivers banks while promoting the planting of flora and fauna to meet the needs of the areas native birds.
"Far from having a confrontational attitude, Ramon Fuentes and his team brought in their consultants to leave what we perceive as a legacy, so that future generations from our city and from all of Puerto Rico can have access to scenic areas of great ecological value such as these," Miranda Marin said.
Fuentes, Miranda Marin, and Doral Financial Corp. President & COO Zoila Levis were present during the land transfer, which was notarized by Antonio Moreda.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.