Stadium Gardens – A Nice Place To Live

Wed, Jul 1, 2009


The Stadium Gardens is almost totally circled by four national institutions – The Dental Auxiliary School, The Bustamante Children’s Hospital, The Jamaica Defence Force’s (JDF) Up Park Camp and The national Stadium. It is geographically secluded, but sociologically upbeat and dynamic.

This housing scheme, founded some 30 years ago, is a dormitory community consisting of 188 housing units built in an unusual style, with four townhouses per cluster, and occupied by middle and lower middle-class families who are proud owners. In addition, there is also a designated area for married soldiers and their families from the JDF.

Apart from the institutions named above, Stadium Gardens’ neighbors are Nannyville Gardens to the east and Swallowfield to the west. It is strategically situated in proximity to major commercial centers such as Cross Roads, New Kingston and Liguanea, and within easy reach of the Norman Manley International Airport, Downtown Kingston, Half-Way-Tree and Papine – which suggests easy access to the University of the West Indies (Mona) and The University of Technology (UTech), whose students and graduates are among the members of the Stadium Gardens community.

Stadium Gardens is also near to most, if not all, the prominent high schools in the Corporate Area, and students from the community attend them all. Other prominent institutions which are close by include The Jamaica Library Service head office (Tom Redcam Avenue), The Little Theatre, Mico University College, St. Joseph’s Teachers College and The Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. Four hospitals as well as health centers are also within easy reach.

Stadium Gardens is on the edge of the vaunted ‘Golden Triangle’ of New Kingston, and within the shadows of upscale residential areas of Beverly Hills and Long Mountain schemes. While Stadium Gardens may not be a Garden of Eden, the social interaction of the community members is generally cordial and we can expect and experience a cheerful ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good evening’, plus an accommodating smile which says ‘I am your friend’ whenever we encounter each other.

An aura of peacefulness pervades, as evidenced by the presence of cooing doves, egrets and singing birds at all hours of the day, plus a profusion of flowering plants in pots and garden plots at nearly every house. In addition, a number of fruit trees abound, most prevalent of which are soursop, which seems indigenous, otaheite apple, mango and ackee.

The social side of the community is also vibrant and dynamic. There is a citizens’ association with management committee consisting of officers and pathway representatives who meet on a monthly basis to facilitate the following:

• The participation of members in seminars on alternative dispute resolution and home and community security systems, including neighborhood watch.

• Liaising with utility companies and government ministries concerning community problems such as garbage collection, sewerage systems and maintenance of roads and lights.

• Organizing Labor Day activities for the community, sporting activities among youths at Social Development Commission (SDC) level and Christmas treats for the younger children.

• Beautification and continuous maintenance of the surroundings.

• Securing financial assistance for needy students.

• Securing temporary employment for needy residents, including students.

• Providing financial and moral support to bereaved families.

• Recognizing and rewarding citizens for services in community development through SDC certification.

• Fund-raising activities to assist various projects.

• Prohibiting and discouraging illegal occupancy (squatting) on vacant lands in the community.

There is also a Senior Citizens’ Club which caters to those individuals who are over the age of 60, including some from neighboring communities. The members participate in national and international activities such as art and craft, culinary art displays and senior citizens’ sports, including intra and inter-island competitions.

There is always room for improvement and Stadium Gardens is no exception. However, given the geographic location, the ambience and social dynamics, many are moved to conclude that Stadium Gardens is a lovely place to live.

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