Our Mission

The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park protects and preserves the natural and cultural resources of Virgin Islands National Park and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. 

We achieve our Mission through:

  • Research, restoration and protection of VINP’s natural resources
  • Interpretation and preservation of VINP’s cultural resources
  • Connecting visitors and the community to VINP through education, volunteerism and advocacy
  • Strengthening the Friend’s organization through diversity, inclusion and collaboration
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The Friends has been the official private sector partner to Virgin Islands National Park since its incorporation as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit in 1988. Over the years dozens of community leaders have served on the board, and thousands of individuals have chosen to become members, volunteer, and donate! 

Donation dollars help to support the more than 30 environmental education, natural resource protection, cultural preservation programs and projects we manage on an annual basis. Together we have been able to fund important scientific research, further archaeological studies in the park, restore historic landmarks, and develop rich educational experiences for local youth and park visitors. We maintain all 27 miles of park trails through a robust volunteer-driven trails program during the winter months, and a paid high school program during the summer. 

The Friends also acts as an advocate for our community and for our National Park, particularly on issues that threaten precious natural or cultural resources, by meeting with local and national leaders to share our collective voiceIn addition, during tough times like hurricanes and government shutdowns, the Friends is there to support the community, the Park and its staff.

Our Values

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park operates under a set of Values that guide and drive our staff and board as we work every day to fulfill our mission. We value:

Integrity – Friends strives to operate transparently in order to be seen as a trustworthy and honest steward of financial resources entrusted to us to carry out our mission.

Collaboration – Friends embraces and seeks to partner with individuals, government, NGOs and businesses who share in our vision for a healthy and thriving Virgin Islands National Park.

Entrepreneurial problem-solving – Friends works within NPS guidelines to help find creative solutions to pressing problems faced by the park and the community.

Diversity – Friends values the unique diversity of heritage, thoughts and lifestyles that make up our Virgin Islands community and we strive for inclusivity in all we do.

Community – Friends recognizes the challenges created through the establishment and management of VINP and works to provide a common space for differing viewpoints.

"Although much of St. John is now developed, the park still remains a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of our small island. It is my belief and hope that the beautiful beaches, historical structures, and cultural experiences will be protected and enjoyed by many more generations of locals as well as visitors."  
 
Andy Rutnik
Chairman, Friends Board

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