Our Work

Cultural Resource Preservation

  
Virgin Islands National Park encompasses over half the island of St. John and almost all of Hassel Island preserving stories of the prehistoric past and over a hundred historic sites that together complete one the most undisturbed and comprehensive Caribbean landscapes. Significant prehistoric sites are present on almost every beach and in every bay within the park. After Columbus’ arrival, the Virgin Islands' became one of the first melting pots, made up of many cultures from around the world.  Since it’s inception, Friends has worked to support the preservation of the rich and extensive cultural history of Virgin Islands National Park.  Some of the programs that we support are:
  

Annaberg Cultural Demonstrations:

Annaberg Cultural DemoAnnaberg Plantation is the premier cultural destination in the Park. Our continuing support assures that local artisans are available to demonstrate historic gardening, cooking, basketry and storytelling to enhance the visitors’ experience.

  

Cultural Evening in the Park:

Cultural Evening in the ParkA weekly changing showcase of cultural pageantry, dance and music highlighting the history of the islands through the arts. Under the supervision of Dr. Edie Bruce; musician, dancers and artists are performing every Friday night December through April at Cinnamon Bay, beginning at 7:30 pm. 

Folklife Festival:

Folklife Fest St JohnSince 1996, the Friends has sponsored the annual Folklife Festival during Black History Month at the Annaberg Sugar Plantation. This well-attended event features cultural demonstrations from the plantation era as well as African song, dance and storytelling. 

Archeological Program:

Each year, Friends supports archeology interns to assist the Park Archeologist. The interns concentrate on archeological research, and assessment of archeological sites. This includes a variety of learning opportunities such as washing artifacts, creating technical drawings, attribute analysis, databases, vessel reconstruction, and field work to assess and monitor sites for management. For more information about the archeology program, and links to articles and the intern blog, please click here.

  

Archeology Exhibits:

The newly renovated Heritage Center & Archeology Lab provide visitors and students a glimpse of the past and historical timeline of St. John's rich history. For more information about the Cinnamon Bay Heritage Center & Archeology Lab, please click here.

  
  

Hassel Island Restoration:

Continuing effort to restore the Creque Marine Railway area to allow the site to be safely visited.  For more information on the work being completed on Hassel Island click here.

 

 

If you would like more information, or you would like to become involved in one of these projects, please come by the office or call. We invite members who are particularly interested in one of these projects to consider becoming a special sponsor of the project. Please contact our Development Director for more information, (340) 779-4940 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Natural Resource Protection

Virgin Islands National Park covers 7,561 acres of land and 5,807 acres of submerged lands on St. John and St. Thomas, and Coral Reef National Monument covers an additional 12,708 acres of submerged lands surrounding St. John.  While VI National Park covers more than half of the island of St. John, it is still one of the smallest National Parks.  Our park and monument contain examples of most western tropical Atlantic terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems. These include various types of subtropical dry to moist forest, salt ponds, beaches, mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs and algal plains. A wide variety of flora and fauna call our park home, and it is the mission of Friends to ensure that these precious natural resources are protected for this, and future generations.  Some of the programs that we support in natural resource protection are:
 
 

Accessible Trails:

A new and exciting program area for the Friends has been to assist the Park in making certain trails accessible to those with mobility challenges. In the past few years we have completed two ADA compliant trails in VI National Park.  Depending upon the terrain and elevations, these trails are a combination of poured concrete walkways and elevated boardwalks.
 
The first trail is at Francis Bay and runs from the Francis Bay road along the salt pond, a great place for bird-viewing, out to the beach. This trail is approximately .2 miles long and has several places to sit and enjoy the natural surroundings.
 
The second trail is across from the entrance to Cinnamon Bay and winds through the Cinnamon Bay Factory ruins.  This trail is approximately 600 feet long.
 
As the park strives to serve it's visitors in the best manner possible, Friends will assist them with a park-wide accessibility assessment and trail rating guide. For more information about this, and other programs that are in need of support, please click here.
 
 
 

Adopt a Beach/Trail:


Promote community participation in the park by organizing civic, religious, school and business groups to “adopt” a beach or trail for periodic cleanups.
 
Adopted Sites Listings
Adopted" Beaches and Trails:
• Connections: Grootpan Bay and Kiddel Bay
• St. John Brewers: Lind Point Trail, Solomon, and Honeymoon
• Concordia Eco Preserve: N Drunk Bay
• Elaine Estern: Frank Bay
• Fish Bay Home Owners: Fish Bay
• Fraser Drummond: Europa Bay
• Friends of VI National Park: S Drunk Bay
• Holiday Homes: Reef Bay
• R&I Patton- S Haulover
• Maho Bay Camps: Big Maho Bay and Francis Bay
• St. John Land Sharks: Hawksnest Beach
• St. John School on Gift Hill: Leinster Bay, Mary Creek, and Brown Bay
• Julius E. Sprauve School- Ms. Mars and Cameron’s class: Cruz Bay
• St. John Rotary: Jumbie Beach
• Pond Bay: Chocolate Hole
• David Rosa (Calabash Boom Project): Johnsons Bay
• June Mays: Denis Bay and Peace Hill Trail
• Coral Bay Community Council : Elk Bay, Calabash Boom Beach
Places in need of adoption
•Underwater Adoption- 2 Dive Companies
• Trunk Bay
• Cinnamon Bay
• Lameshur
• Newfound Bay
• Europa Bay
• Friis Bay
• Manneveck Bay
• Whistling Cay
• East End Bay
• Privateer Bay
• Leduck Island
• Flanagan Island
• Durloe Cays
• Steven Cay
• Hart Bay

Coral Reef Research:

Coral Research St JohnAnnually support research projects that focus on various aspects of coral health on the reefs in VI National Park and the Coral Reef National Monument. Currently coral monitoring and data collection are being supported.  For more information about this program, please click here.
 

Resource Protection Moorings:

usvi mangroves200 overnight boat moorings were installed in eight park bays to protect sea grasses, mangroves, turtle habitat and coral reefs from damage by boat anchors. In 2004-2005, Friends funded the installation of an additional 75 moorings for day-use, storm refuge, dive sites, and fishing within Coral Reef National Monument. In 2006-2007, Friends funded the installation of 60 storm refuge moorings in Hurricane Hole, and will install an additional 30 storm moorings this coming Spring. In 2011, 5 additional day-use moorings were installed near popular Honeymoon Beach.
 
Total expenditure to date on this activity has reached nearly $562,000. The park operates a fee collection system that will fund mooring maintenance and installation of additional moorings. These fees, and contributions from our donors, will help fund the next phase of the mooring project in 2012; installation of moorings for boats that are 60 to 100 feet in length.
 
 

SCA Trail Crews:

Annual sponsorship of a crew of budding conservationists in partnership with the Student Conservation Association to repair and upgrade priority trails within the Park. We will again build on our experience of fielding a crew of young Virgin Islanders.
 
If you would like more information, or you would like to become involved in one of these projects, please come by the office or call. We invite members who are particularly interested in one of these projects to consider becoming a special sponsor of the project. Please contact our Development Director for more information, (340) 779-4940 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Enviromental EducationChildren exploring during Reef Fest.

 

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is dedicated to preserving and protecting the resources of Virgin Islands National Park for this, and furture generations.  Educating the public about our unique national treasure is a priority and we take an active role in cultivating the next generation of our park’s stewards through a variety of educational programs.  Some of the programs we support include:
 
 

Seminar Series: 

Interested in learning more about St. John’s natural and cultural wonders from the experts? Friends of the Park offers a variety of educational seminars every year to increase public awareness and enjoyment of the Park! Sign up for a marine biology sailing trip, a green building house tour, or a native plant hike. Seminars range in price from $35 – $95. All proceeds are a donation to the Friends. For more information on specific seminars check our online calender here or download our Seminar Brochure or Seminar Poster. Seminars run from January 5 through April 22, 2013.

Environmental Education

Eco-camps:

Each year, approximately one hundred 7-17 year old students spend three to five days surrounded by Virgin Islands National Park at Eco-Camps, Science Camp and Ranger-in-Training Camp.  Learn more.
 

 

Summer Internship:

An 8-10 week internship position working for the Friends of the Park is offered to university students studying a science-related field. Free accommodation and weekly stipend are also included.
 

Scholarship Fund:

Provide scholarships and summer internships for two Virgin Islanders to encourage study in fields related to natural resource management. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
 

School Kids in the Park (SKIP):

SKIP is the cornerstone of our environmental education programming in the park. This fund is designed to familiarize VI students with their National Park through hands on learning and site visits. Mini grants are available to St. John teachers for creative classroom projects that incorporate the natural and/or cultural resources of the Park. SKIP also supports Park ranger-led field trips. Each school year hundreds of VI students experience the Park through educational visits to Annaberg Plantation Ruins, Leinster Bay for a seashore walk, the Reef Bay Trail and many other exciting destinations.

Philanthropy and National Parks Exhibit:

Friends sponsored the construction of an outdoor interpretive display about the role of philanthropy in national parks, using VI National Park as a case study.

Teens 4 Oceans:

Learn about the undersea world of Virgin Islands National Park right on your computer. The Friends partnered with Teens4oceans, a student group from the Kent Denver School in Denver Colorado, to install an underwater camera in VI National Park under the dock in Great Lameshur Bay, on the south side of St. John. The Teens4oceans students designed, developed, and installed a fixed underwater video camera on a cement piling at the NPS dock in Great Lameshur Bay, within VI National Park. The hi-definition video camera rotates 360 degrees, tilts to 170 degrees, and is remotely controlled. It is connected to computer and network equipment in the VIERS marine laboratory near the dock. High definition live streams will be available for visitors to the laboratory, and a public low-resolution live stream can be seen by connecting with this link:
 
Learn about the Mangroves of St John. Discovering the Secret Gardens in the Mangroves of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands By Ann B. Tihansky and Caroline S. Rogers  - When scientists peered into the secret world of mangrove forests fringing the protected coastlines of the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, they discovered vibrant marine gardens growing there. Tucked among the roots and shade of the red mangrove trees is a stunning and colorful array of corals, sponges, anemones, and fish. The communities are remarkably diverse, rich in texture, color, and number of species. The diversity of corals may be unique among mangroves of the Caribbean.
More Information found here
 
Learn about the establishment of Virgin Islands National Park- you can buy you very own Establishment DVD in our store or online. A great way to learn about how our park began and why we need you to keep it for our future generations.

 

 
If you would like more information, or you would like to become involved in one of these projects, please come by the office or call. We invite members who are particularly interested in one of these projects to consider becoming a special sponsor of the project. Please contact our Development Director for more information, (340) 779-4940 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
   

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