The Bahamas National Trust was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of the Bahamas. Among the many events throughout the Bahamas to promote national parks is Art for the Parks, Abaco, the annual fundraiser specifically for the six established parks in the Abacos. We enjoyed attending the event on our last trip in February, 2014 and were thrilled to be here in time for this year’s art show, now in December.
Since the benefit was in December this year, the theme was “Twelve Days of Christmas; Abaco Style”. Twenty local artists displayed their creations while live music played, champagne flowed, and treats were passed around among the party-goers.
The Abacos is home to six national parks that protect the land and marine biodiversity of Abaco:
- Abaco National Park (est. 1994) 20,500 acres of pine forest in southern Abaco – breeding and foraging areas of endangered Bahama Parrot, unique for ground nesting behavior.
- Pelican Cays Land And Sea Park (est. 1972) 2,100 acre park, featuring undersea caves, extensive coral reefs with a rich diversity of marine life.
- Tiloo Cay Reserve (est. 1990) 11 acres of pristine coastal shoreline important for nesting seabirds.
- Walker’s Cay National Park (est. 2002) 3,840 acre park with stunning coral formations and marine life.
- Black Sound Cay Reserve (est. 1988) 2 acres of dense mangroves on Green Turtle Cay, an impotant habitat for waterfowl and other birds that winter in the region.
- Fowl Cays National Park (est. 2009) a popular recreational area for boaters and divers with exceptional marine like and coral reef formations.
The 3-day event is held at The Pavilion and on the grounds of Abaco Beach Resort in Boat Harbor over on Great Abaco Island, near Marsh Harbor. Froggies, a local Hope Town dive shop, donates their dive boat to act as a ferry and take people there for the special Friday evening cocktail party opening.
The tent was festive and filled with colorful rows of displays by a varied assortment of artists and craftsmen.
We got back to Hope Town around 9:30 pm, a late night for cruisers! A “late” night, but lots of fun. Glad we were here to attend this event. One of the things we enjoy about the Abacos is the diversity of things to do; outside fun such as snorkeling, swimming and biking mixed with community and cultural events, too.