Sept. 30, 2002 – St. Croix residents can look forward to new life at the Good Hope intersection later this month when three CARE Grant recipients begin transforming the busy intersection. Residents soon will see a cactus garden and ground covers.
Sylvia Thomas, CARE Grant Program administrator, said three grant recipients -– Steve Adams and the Music in Motion Parents Association, Helga Emde, and the Good Hope School Girl Scouts Troop -– have each adopted a corner of the intersection. Their plans for improvements include installing a cactus garden at the former dump site on the northwest corner and planting extensive groundcover on the northeast corner.
The CARE Grant Program was launched last year as a partnership between the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission and the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development. Since then, it has enabled more than 30 individuals and organizations on St. Croix to embark on environmental education and beautification projects that benefit the entire community. And while its cycle is over, it has proven successful in providing money for small, environmentally focused grassroots grant initiatives.
"With the different initiatives we're seeing going on right now, St. Croix is the benefactor of long-term beautification efforts," Thomas said. "We hope to continue with similar projects so we can be proud of the added beauty of Ay Ay."
Anne Golden, Anti-Litter executive director, said the CARE Grant Program is one more success in the goal to "Keep St. Croix Clean."
"Our partnership with the St. Croix Foundation allows us to provide funding to community groups, government agencies, schools and nonprofit organizations to foster creative beautification projects," she said.
Golden said that, in spite of a decreased Fiscal Year 2003 budget and the governor's recent approval of the transfer of money from the commission to the Public Works Department, the commission intends to continue providing the resources for programs like CARE. "We're saddened by the shift away from the promotion of community responsibility to the bureaucracy," she said.
In addition to the work at the Good Hope intersection, several other CARE Grant projects got under way in September. Lumumba Coriette, founder of Ay Ay Eco Hike & Tours, conducted several mangrove ecology tours of Salt River with students from the Educational Complex, Central High School, Claude O. Markoe School and Good Hope School.
The St. Croix Women's Coalition began beautifying its East Street backyard, which co-director Mary Mingus said will be used for picnics and meetings. "There are some beautiful trees out there we want to take advantage of, but our normal budget would never have allowed us to do that," she said, "so, we're really grateful to Anti-Litter and the St. Croix Foundation."
At Elena Christian Junior High School, Joan Claxton, assistant principal, said students are cultivating flower gardens in front of the school and keeping the grounds litter free with new garbage bins and will be starting box gardens to grow peppers and plants for bush tea.
Delta Harris, La Vallee Development Association president, is spearheading efforts to revitalize the La Vallee Park. So far, with the help of friends and the Housing Parks and Recreation Department, the group has cleared and graded the softball field, repaired the basketball courts and begun fencing the area to keep sheep and goats from eating the landscaping. "It was basically a forgotten park," Harris said. "But eventually I want it to serve as a recreational sports facility, an after-school tutorial center and a senior center."
Residents can see the results of other projects, including:
– Improvements to Altona Lagoon by Lions Club East.
– New trees and lighting in front of the Whim Plantation Museum by the St. Croix Landmarks Society.
– Improvements to La Reine Fish Market by the Channel 12 teen talk show "Graffiti Street."
– Beautification projects at several schools by the Blue Marlins swim team and the St. Croix Swimming Association.
In Frederiksted, Our Town Frederiksted has landscaped the Children's Park, while the Clan Social Club and the Frederiksted Economic Development Association have painted and repaired benches and planted along the waterfront. Many of the groups will be putting up signs letting the public know they've adopted those areas, Thomas said.
A shining example of the success of the CARE Grant Program is the transformation of Girl Scout Camp Edith Consuelo in Estate Hope. Jacqueline Dennis, V.I. Girl Scouts Council president, said the CARE Grant Program has demonstrated the community's commitment to scouting. "The response from Girl Scout troops, adult volunteers, civic groups and the private sector was more than we could imagine," she said. "While we still have a challenging road ahead to transform Camp Edith Consuelo into a community camp, we know that we will get there, because the St. Croix community has shown it really cares about its children."
Dennis said the next cleanup at the camp is scheduled for Oct. 5.
To learn more about the dates and times of upcoming CARE Grant projects call:
– Ay Ay Eco Hike & Tours' Coriette at 772-4079.
– Women's Coalition co-directors Mingus and Clema Lewis at 773-9272.
– Elena Christian's Claxton, 773-4445
– La Vallee's Harris at 779-3767.
– The Girl Scouts' Dennis at 719-4759 or 774-3994.
– The St. Croix Foundation's Thomas, grants administrator, at 773-9898.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email