Bamboo Avenue - St. Elizabeth
One of the most magnificent sights on the south coast main road is Bamboo Avenue, in the Holland area of St. Elizabeth Parish. Bamboo Avenue is a two and a half mile stretch of road between Lacovia and Middle Quarters which is lined with giant bamboo plants which tower above the road and cross in the middle to form a shady tunnel. The avenue was established in the 17th century by the owners of the Holland Estate to provide shade for travelers and to protect the road from erosion.
Other bamboo avenues exist in Jamaica, these are usually in mountainous regions. However, the bamboo avenue in Holland is the longest by far and the only one which covers a busy road.
The bamboo coverage used to be much thicker than it currently is but weather conditions in recent years (most notably Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and Hurricane Ivan in 2004) have caused the Bamboo coverage to thin considerably. A restoration project is being carried out by the Tourism Product Development Company, the National Environment and Planning Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture to plant more bamboo of the same type currently lining the area (the Bambusa Vulgaris, the largest variety introduced to Jamaica) and to prune dead bamboo.© 2009 Jamaica Travel and Culture .com