Major Playground Fundraising Drive Launch

Dear Friends,

We live in a world that is blisteringly complicated when looking at challenges like warming oceans, plastic trash, and COVID-19. Equally, thankfully, we are blessed with the simplicity and perfection of a soldier crab in a pretty shell, a sea turtle coming up for air, and the joy on a child’s face playing on a beach!

On St. John, we cherish our community, our natural beauty, and the people it attracts. Our treasured community includes our youngest generation. They will inherit this special place and their conservation ethics will be born contiguous to one of the most beautiful National Parks in the world. These young citizens need the security of a playground to learn important sensory, motor, and strength skills, as well as critical social skills like how to share fairly, to play cooperatively, and to collaborate as part of a group.

In the year ahead we will continue the work we do to preserve the natural and cultural resources protected in Virgin Islands National Park. In addition, we will be working to rebuild the playground in front of the National Park Visitor Center that was destroyed in Hurricane Irma.

We have just received a $350,000 gift from Jann and Steven Paul to launch a major fundraising campaign for the restoration of the playground! Please join them in making a difference in the lives of our children! Your support matters!

The playground site is the ideal location for integrating natural landscapes, cultural history, trail guides, community meeting areas, and play structures thanks to its established value as a play area for island youth and a community meeting spot. Much of the open play space for children in Cruz Bay was lost as a result of the hurricanes making the reconstruction and completion of the playground even more important! 

Even if you have already given support to our work this year, it would mean a lot to us if you would consider helping us gift the children on our island a place of wonder and exploration! Please click to donate to the project’s success or reach out to me for more ways to give.

Collectively, we see time and time again, that our strength lies in making small differences every day. Your generosity makes our successes possible including protecting our endangered sea turtle population, planting trees on our beaches to combat erosion, and introducing our youth to hiking, snorkeling, and swimming! Thank you so much!

From all of us here at the Friends, we wish you the happiest of New Years! May you count your blessings with the sounds of laughter and the warmth of the dear ones in your heart.

Warmly,Tonia Lovejoy, Executive Director