30 Years of Protection & Preservation
The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park was established in the mid-1980's thanks groundwork done by the Park's then Chief of Interpretation, Chuck Weikert, and the encouragement of then Superintendent, Richard Maeder. The idea was also strongly endorsed by Laurance Rockefeller (who had donated about 5,000 acres in 1956 for the purpose of creating the Park) with the aim of the Friends being a link between the Park and the community of St. John. The Friends was formally incorporated in December 1988 and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018.
Some of the significant accomplishments of the Friends in its first 30 years include:
-- Making the Virgin Islands National Park an anchor-less park by investing about $630,000 to install 340 moorings in anchorages throughout the Park and a storm mooring system in Hurricane Hole. The Friends continues to assist the Park in maintenance, mapping, and other boater outreach about the mooring system
-- Nurturing the next generation of conservation citizens by enabling about 3,000 students to visit the Park annually on ranger-led field trips, eco-camps, trail crews, scholarships, and park events
-- Helping the Park establish and maintain an archaeology program that is without rival in the Caribbean and tells the story of those who preceded us
-- Playing an important role that enabled The Trust for Public Land to acquire the 420-acre Estate Maho Bay and convey it to the NPS
-- Ensuring that all park trails are maintained and provide a safe and enjoyable hiking experience
All of this is made possible by the generous financial, moral, and volunteer support of loyal members and donors who share the Friends' passion for protecting and preserving the nature and the cultural legacy on St. John. Thank you all our supporters--you have made a difference!