Cleaning up Fort Beekenburg

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Caracasbaai Schiereiland 20140427 003 smallReplacing the stolen cannon on Fort Beekenburg is one step in the process to restore this fort in its old glory. After a lot of preparation finally in March 2014 the activities have been started to clean up the environment of the fort. Cleaning up means that especially the thorny Wabis will be removed from the grounds of the fort. These Wabis have overtaken the fort and the other vegetation on the fort. As a consequence large areas around the fort are not easily accessible and the view on the fort is partly blocked from the entrance.

On March 17, 2014 the removal of unwanted vegetation was started; this is done in a cooperation between the foundation Herstelling Amsterdam and the Curaçao government. A group of 4 young participants led by foreman Cijntje and advised by a foreman from Foundation Herstelling Amsterdam, mr Jules Kranenburg, started this pilot project by removing the first shrubs.

On Sunday April 27 I held the first hike to the fort with visitors since the activities started and I was surprised with the progress. The entrance to the fort is clean and far more welcoming than it was in the past. And after going through the door onto the fort grounds the view has changed completely. In the past the area to the right of the path was completely covered by Wabis. Now this area is clean. Also a large part of the vegetation on the first bastion has been cleared. From the entrance this gives a nice open view on the fort. Especially nice is that not everything is cleared but that the candle cacti, Brasil trees and Aloe plants have been spared.

The work is still ongoing; the vegetation is still blocking the view on the water building and the fort walls. But the progress is promising.