The Guardsman Serenity Park.
The Guardsman Serenity Park is a
wildlife sanctuary located approximately one half mile from the main entrance
at Gutters. It boasts a generous collection of exotic birds and animals. It is
operated by the Guardsman Group of Companies which bought the property from Mr.
Shaw in 1982. The property was originally run as a farm, which produced many
crops such as Calaloo, Okra Pumpkin and other staples. It was mostly noted for
its large collection of Ayden mangoes, which attracted all who passed by. The
interest in the mangoes by these passersby was over and above that of farm
products as one could easily imagine, since they could literally be left in a
trance from salivating after staring at these gorgeous oversized reddish-yellow
fruits. They must have been wishing they could just fall from the heights of
the tree into their hands. The keepers of the property at the time “Foey” (Franklin) and
his partners were always quite busy farming while keeping a watchful eye on
would-be mango snatchers.
One cannot help but also mention the goings-on on the
other side of the street from the sanctuary. The property was owned by David
Vernon one of Jamaica’s
famous radio disc jockeys, who used it as a pasture for raising his horses.
Interestingly enough, along with horses roaming in his pastures, he also had
some baby wild hogs running around with their little red tusks protruding,
searching for whatever they could get into. This led to an interesting
combination of animals to say the least. Nowadays, the property is used mostly
for horticulture and has its portion of new stories to share.
With a good deal of the above gone in history, the
ambience of the area is much the same although now greatly enhanced by the
wildlife sanctuary, it draws its share of excitement among visitors from all
over, especially the young. As seen from the brochures (Courtesy of the
Guardsman Group), the features of the locale are quite varied. It draws
visitors into a tropical paradise, leaving a lasting imprint on their lives
regarding the natural beauty around us and the value of preserving it.