Bahamas National Trust (BNT)

Protecting Bahamian History & Culture

History and Purpose: 

The Bahamas National Trust was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959. The efforts of two groups of conservationists brought about the drafting and passing of the Act. Both groups in different arenas had been rallying for the conservation of natural resources in The Bahamas.
 
As early as 1905, concern for the West Indian flamingos in the Caribbean was intense. In that year, at the first annual general meeting of the National Audubon Society, a plea was made to The Bahamas Government for the establishment of legal protection for the flamingos. Almost immediately, the Wild Birds (Protection) Act was passed. As Audubon records show, it was the first time in history that special protection for flamingos had been proposed and then established in law. Thus, early in the 20th century The Bahamas positioned itself as a leader in conservation. And by the 1950s a close working relationship had been established between the National Audubon Society and The Bahamas.

While flamingo protection was taking root, thoughts of conservation of a different kind were being formulated by Colonel Ilia Tolstoy. Colonel Tolstoy, who began visiting The Bahamas in the early 1930s, noticed that certain plants and animals were being affected by increasing rates of development in the 1950s. He approached several Bahamians regarding the advisability and possibility of setting aside islands which would serve as buffer areas to development and which might eventually become national parks. 

During the early 1950s Tolstoy's idea was explored in greater detail. Experts in the United States and Great Britain were consulted and in 1955 a proposal was officially presented to The Bahamas Government. A year later, the Crown Lands Office temporarily set aside 22-miles of the Exuma Chain to allow Tolstoy and his colleagues to carry out a survey of the area. In 1958 the team's report was received and adopted by The Bahamas Government and the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, the first of its kind in the world, was officially established.
 
However, a management body was needed to oversee the park and assume responsibility for the Society for the Protection of the Flamingos. The Hon. Godfrey W Higgs drafted legislation based on the National Trust Act of Great Britain to answer this need. In 1959, the Bahamas National Trust Act was passed which created the only statutory organization in The Bahamas charged with conservation and preservation of places of historic interest and natural beauty—The Bahamas National Trust. 

The Trust has continued with remarkable success to build the Bahamas National Parks System. Today there are 27 National Parks protecting well over 1 million acres. 

The Bahamas National Trust has a proud history. It is due in part to the wisdom of its founders but also to the energy and dedication of its members and staff over the years. 

Activities: 
  • Art & Wine Festival (NP)
  • Birds and Birding
  • Christmas Jollification (NP)
  • Discovery Club
  • Festival Noel (GB)
  • Fundraising
  • Gamebirds
  • Helping Hands
  • Membership
  • Marine Conservation
  • Native Flora
Recent Accomplishments: 
  • Kirtland's Warbler Training and Research Project
  • The Society for Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds
  • Pew Environment Group and the BNT Shark Campaign
  • Tarpum Bay Discovery Club Eleuthera
  • Get to know your MPA
  • Golf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute and the Marine Litter Campaign
  • GEF Full sized Project
Current Staff and Volunteers: 

New Providence 

  • Eric Carey, Executive Director
  • Lynn Gape, Deputy Executive Director
  • Urmie Braynen, Development Associate
  • Daphne Brooks, Junior Bookkeeper
  • Shelley Cant, Education Officer III
  • Bianca Green, Education Assistant
  • Lindy Knowles, Assistant Parks Planner
  • Larissa Ferguson, Education Officer I
  • Claudette Minnis, Office Custodian
  • Predensa Moore, Grants & Projects Administrator
  • Philip Pinder, Director of Finance
  • Joanne Powell, Senior Bookkeeper
  • Nickara Pratt, Membership Officer
  • Tamica J. Rahming, Director of Parks
  • Shacara Scavella, Office Assistant
  • Krista Sherman, SW Marine Park Co-ordinator
  • Portia Sweeting, Director of Education
  • Alexandria Wemyss, Human Resources Officer
  • Natasha Wright, Director of Development
  • Timothy Bethel, Curator
  • Jack Atillus, Retreat Gardener
  • Silvan Monestaine, Security Officer
  • Stephen Wright, Garden Staff
  • Desmond Jolly, Garden Staff

Abaco 

  • David Knowles , Chief Park Warden, Abaco National Parks
  • Kaderin Mills, Office Administrator

Andros 

  • Tavares Thompson, Andros Park Warden

Eleuthera 

  • Camilla Adair, Deputy Preserve Manager, Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve
  • Mark Daniels, Preserve Manager, Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve
  • Arlington Johnson, Site Supervisor
  • Stanton Cooper, Preserve Attendant
  • Chima Sands, Preserve Attendant
  • Hermane Exament, Preserve Attendant
  • Jason Moxey, Preserve Attendant
  • Omar Micklewhite, Preserve Attendant

Exuma 

  • Andrew Kriz, Park Administrator
  • Henry Hailey, Park Warden
  • Juanita Munroe, Environmental Education Officer, Black Point

Grand Bahama 

  • Cecilia Bodie, Administrative & Education Officer, The Rand Centre
  • Lisa Wildgoose, Office Manager, The Rand Centre
  • David Cooper, Deputy Park Warden, Lucayan National Park

Inagua 

  • Henry Nixon, Inagua National Park, Senior Park Officer/Warden
Governing Board and Membership: 

The Trust Council

Neil McKinney 
President 
Elected Member 

John F. Bethell 
Deputy President 
Elected Member 

Glenn Bannister 
Elected Member 

Michael T. Braynen 
Appointed Member 
Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources 

Daniel Brumbaugh, Ph.D. 
Appointed Member 
American Museum of Natural History 

Teresa Butler 
Elected Member 

Shirley Cartwright 
Elected Member 

Nancy Clum, Ph.D. 
Appointed Member 
Wildlife Conservation Society 

Lawrence Glinton 
Hon. Secretary 
Elected Member 

Matt Jeffries 
Appointed Member 
National Audubon Society 

Earlston McPhee 
Appointed Member 
Ministry of Tourism 

D. Stewart Morrison 
Elected Member 

Barbara Thompson
Elected Member


Christopher Russell
Appointed Member
minister of Environment

Valerie Paul
Appointed Member
Smithsonian Institution 


Pamela Reid 
Appointed Member 
University of Miami 
Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science 

Peter Stokes
Honorary Treasurer 
Elected Member 

Nakira Wilchcombe
Appointed Member 
Governor General\'s Representative 

U.S. National Park Service
Mark Lewis 

Latest News

Senator Ranard Henfield Speaks on Behalf of CSOs

Today, June 26, 2017, Senator Ranard Henfield speaks about the concerns and suggestions of 15 Civil Society Organizations in The Bahamas in the House of Assembly. One of those organizations is One Eleuthera Foundation. We are grateful to Senator Henfield for giving us this opportunity. Please see the full script below of our concerns and suggestions as presented by Senator Henfield

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Development, for the past 40 plus years in the Bahamas at best has followed a “one size fits all” strategy.  At worst, successive governments have held a “hold the centre policy”. Which means let’s take care of New Providence, Grand Bahama and then whatever is left we will distribute throughout the other islands. This is not a bad policy for an archipelagic nation with limited resources.

CTI Trainee Profile: Meet Deangelo Pratt

Twenty-eight year old Waterford, Eleuthera resident, Deangelo Pratt is no ordinary trainee. He hasn’t had the greatest start in life but was eager, yet humbled to tell us just how much his life changed since enrolling in the programs at the Centre for Training and Innovation (CTI) just over one year ago.

CTI Trainee Profile: Meet Cercelia Thompson

 You have to hear about CTI trainee, Cercelia Thompson! The 31-year-old is a resident of Deep Creek, Eleuthera and says that coming to CTI gave her a second chance at life after being unemployed for four years! 

A Shared Vision

The Shared Vision for South Eleuthera, which was first commissioned by Friends of Lighthouse Point to develop a sustainable plan for Lighthouse Point and other special heritage and conservation sites on Eleuthera, inspired the formation of One Eleuthera.

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