Friends of VI National Park Earth Day Activities Kick Off With Annual Plant Giveaway

By Andrea Milam, St John Correspondent Virgin Islands Daily News / April 21

“Earth Day is a celebration of the beauty and wonder our world holds as well as a very real reminder of the challenges our planet, our island, and our park face when it comes to natural resource protection and sustainability,” said Friends Executive Director, Tonia Lovejoy. “The particular joy of the Earth Day Fair is the opportunity to excite our youth about issues as far-ranging as recycling, trash pickup, planting, turtle and reef protection, and more. Their engagement and the passion and support of some 23 organizations and businesses in the activities planned throughout the week is much reason for hope. Together we can make a difference in our small corner of this beautiful world.”

The festivities continue with the Earth Day Fair set for Friday from 9AM to 2PM in the Franklin Powell Sr. Park. The theme as proposed by the Gifft Hill School chapter of the National Honor Society is “Reduce the waste. Leave no trace. Save the place.” There will be booths where attendees can learn about recycling, birds, coral life, fruit tree planting, and more.

At 11AM the poster contest judging will take place followed by a litter stomp parade around the park led by the VI Waste Management Authority’s Litter Critter. A sanitation workers appreciation lunch will be served at noon.

On Saturday, residents are invited to participate in a Cruz Bay trash pickup beginning at 9AM at the VINP visitors center pavilion.

This is a joint effort hosted by the Friends, Get Trashed St. John, and Gifft Hill School. Volunteers should bring water and sun protection and wear green in honor of Earth Day. Bags and gloves will be provided.

Earth Day events will culminate Saturday evening with a book signing with Friends artist-in-residence Kayden Richards at Bajo El Sol beginning at 4PM. Richards will be signing copies of is new photography book, Their Eyes Were Watching St. John, which will also be available at the National Park store and online at Friends at

Photo by Andrea Milam. Leo Perez and Katha Riccardi assist Jamie Brown at the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park’s annual park giveaway Wednesday morning outside of the VI National Park visitors center. The event marked the beginning of the Friends’ Earth Day activities, which will continue through Saturday.

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