End Of Year Gifting
You know as well as I do, this small corner of the world can sneak into your soul. Be it the sheer beauty of the view across the aqua waters of Waterlemon Cay from the Murphy Great House, or the stories told by its preserved history, Virgin Islands National Park is unique in all the world.
Today, I am writing to you as a lover of St. John and someone who appreciates the critical need of conserving and protecting the natural and cultural resources of our treasured park.
Thanks to your support this past year has been full of success stories. Here are three of our highlights:
- TRAILS. With the help of members like you, we maintained all 27 miles of trails through the recruitment, management, and training of service groups. This past year we stepped up our efforts in the fight against shoreline erosion caused by the 2017 hurricanes by planting an additional 166 trees on the beaches bringing the total number planted since the storms to over 600!
- HISTORY. From new discoveries at Cinnamon Bay to the uncovering of structures at America Hill, Francis Bay, Leinster Bay Factory, and Hassel Island, the Friends have played an instrumental role in preserving cultural heritage sites so that future generations continue to learn from them as we do today.
- SEA TURTLES. Beach monitoring for sea turtle nesting activity was conducted by 100 trained volunteers on 47 beaches in the 2021/22 season resulting in 109 hawksbill nesting activities documented on 10 nesting beaches, yielding 35 confirmed nests, 71 dry runs, and 3 possible nests. The success story of these endangered species is proof positive that collaborative and cohesive conservation work, education, and helpful humans can make an enormous impact!
Your participation in the protection and preservation of Virgin Islands National Park’s natural and cultural resources makes a difference. I am asking you to please help us extend the capacity to address critical conservation challenges right now by giving $100 or more before December 31, 2022.
Every visitor to our park can play a role in the long-term preservation of our marine and terrestrial environments. From reef to peak, each opportunity to explore and enjoy the park comes with a responsibility. In the past year, we have worked hard to remind visitors to the park about the importance of being conservation stewards.
Our efforts have included advertisements in Destination magazine and the 2023 Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands, flyers with important messages left in villas, advice in social media outlets, posters, and a Visitor Guide like the one enclosed. We will continue to prioritize outreach to visitors on land and sea in the year ahead to help educate and engage them in the protection and preservation of the park’s natural and cultural resources for today and tomorrow.
Please make your end of the year gift of $100 or more and help advance the responsible enjoyment of our park’s fragile resources! Remember to take advantage of corporate employee matching gift programs too!
We face challenges including Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) prevalent in our reefs, fibro papillomatosis (FP) tumors impacting our sea turtle population, warming ocean waters and climate challenges like hurricanes and drought, and more. Despite these hurdles, and with you at our side, I am optimistic about our ability to continue to remain motivated and active in the quest for solutions to protect and preserve what is precious to all of us.
After a year in the position of Executive Director, I am awestruck and humbled by the contributions members like you have made. You have showed up, signed up, cleaned up, donated, adopted turtles, sponsored our events, and endowed college scholarships for St. John youth. It is extraordinary to see your love and joy for our Virgin Islands National Park translated into passion, energy, and action.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Your support is the foundation for everything we do! Thank you for considering us in your end of year giving!
Please stop by the National Park Visitor Center and Store in Cruz Bay or visit our offices in Mongoose Junction, our doors are always open to you. I wish for you and your families a happy, healthy holiday season and year end.
Tonia Lovejoy, Executive Director
PS – Please visit our website at www.friendsVINP.org to contribute and support programs like trails maintenance, turtle protection, youth education, cultural resource protection, coral reef protection, plant propagation, and more! Thank you!