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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, March 22, 2023


April 14, 2004 – The Virgin Islands, along with the rest of the world, is celebrating Earth Day this year on or about April 22, on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.
St. Thomas
Locally, events kick off on Saturday, when the Environmental Association of St. Thomas/St. John holds a hike to Perseverance Bay on St. Thomas's West End. Participants will clean up the trail and the beach as they hike.
Dalma Simon, who organizes activities for EAST, said Perseverance Bay is one of the most beautiful spots in St. Thomas. "It's very pristine," he said.
The forest canopy provides shade, and hikers are likely to see deer and many varieties of birds, he said. Additionally, the area is home to the ruins of an old sugar factory.
Simon said that because there is room for only a few cars at the trail head, participants should meet at John Brewers Bay at 8:30 a.m. for a ride to the trail. They can return by boat or hike back up the trail. He estimated the outing will last about three hours.
The hike will be difficult in spots, he said, and participants should wear wading shoes, as the trail crosses a salt pond now filled with about a foot of water. They should also bring their bathing suits for a swim out to the boat when the hike and cleanup conclude.
Simon asked that those planning to participate call him at 774-1837 beforehand so he knows how many people need transportation.
St. Croix
The St. Croix Environmental Association celebrates Earth Day with a program and beach cleanup Sunday at Southgate Nature Park, located across from Cheeseburgers in Paradise.
The event starts at 9 a.m. with a presentation by marine biologists Marcia Taylor and Zandy Hillis-Starr. SEA's Carol Cramer-Burke will speak on trees. A cleanup will follow from 10 a.m. to noon.
"Our events are so fun, and you get a guided nature walk with the most knowledgeable people on the island," Sylvia Brady, SEA development director said.
Participants should bring their lunch and drinking water — and gear if they wish to snorkel.
SEA also will hold its annual Eco Fair from Wednesday through April 23 at St. George Village Botanical Garden. Brady said more than 100 groups are expected to make presentations to school children from around the island. The fair runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day.
Brady said the Eco Fair is a way to teach young people about environmental stewardship. "The message we bring is the message of how we save the Earth," she said.
For more information, call SEA at 773-1989.
St. John
The Friends of V.I. National Park kicks off its Earth Day celebration on St. John with a cleanup of the trail from Leinster Bay to Brown Bay on April 23. Those wanting to take part should meet at 10 a.m. at the trailhead near the Annaberg Plantation parking lot.
"We should give back and help keep the planet clean," Friends program manager Emily Burton said.
The trail is littered with clothing left behind by illegal aliens who frequently utilize it to come ashore.
Burton said those planning to participate who have rubber gloves should bring them. For those who don't, the Friends group has a supply. Additionally, those taking part should bring sunscreen, water, a hat, snacks and whatever else they need to feel comfortable.
The Friends group continues its Earth Day activities on April 27, when a panel of judges will pick the best of the projects public and private school classes in grades 1 through 5 conjured up to celebrate the date. Burton said classes had the choice of creating a visual work of art using materials that could be recycled or doing a performance piece "where the lyrics and the words revolve around Earth Day."
The winning class will receive an overnight stay at the V.I. Environmental Resource Station. The second-places class will get a day of play at the Pastory Gardens mini-golf course. The third-place class gets a classroom pizza party.
To learn more, call the Friends of the Park at 779-4940.

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