A Child's Gateway to Virgin Islands National Park
The playground outside of the Virgin Islands National Park headquarters is the ideal location for integrating natural landscapes, cultural history, trail guides, community meeting areas, and play structures with multiple opportunities for learning because of its location and established use as a play area for island youth and a community meeting spot.
After being hit by two category five hurricanes in 2017, the playground and ball field next to the Virgin Islands National Park headquarters suffered substantial damage. In order to restore the area and provide a connection for children to the Park, a revitalized vision for the playground and adjacent ball field was sought. As of October 2021, the National Park Service has begun work on the ball field and playground plans (See blueprints below) have received the necessary approvals with construction on track for 2022.
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 both the ball field and the playground even more important!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
In Fall of 2018 at the request of the Virgin Islands National Park, the Friends launched an initial fundraiser to repair the playground. Thanks to 100 individuals and businesses who generously donated, we are not starting at zero!
Just under $30,000 of a Total Project Goal of $500,000 has been donated! We have made a start but have a long way to go so your support for this important community project is critical!
PLANTING A FUTURE
Trees and plants selected for the playground are native and shade bearing. They will be part of a native plant garden with interpretive signage along pathways and in the playground. Our thanks to Eleanor Gibney who has been propagating native plants alongside our trail crew, and our thanks to Alfredo's Landscaping who will help with planting.
Plants selected include: Tabebuia Heterophylla (Pink cedar), Coccoloba Uvifera (Sea grape), Bucida Buceras (Gre Gre), Pimenta Racemosa (Bay Rum), Cordia Sebestena (Cordia), Capparis Cynophallophora (Jamaican caper), Conocarpus Erectus (Buttonwood), Guaiacum Officinale (Lignum Vitae), and Grass (Zoysia).
RIDGETOP TO REEF: Playground Blueprints
Projects like this depend on a wide range of members of our community and the National Park Service sharing a collective passion to give our children a place to be just that, children!
- Thank you to the community members who attended community meetings and completed a feedback survey. Your input was invaluable in the design process.
- The development of the design and the process would not have been possible without the contributions of Barefoot Architect, GT Construction, Kurt Marsh Jr., Chelsea Baranowski, and Melissa Wilson.
- Thank you to David & Rhonda McCay for donating a Gary Lee Price sculpture of three children playing.