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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesVolunteers Dig In on Nature Trail

Volunteers Dig In on Nature Trail

Volunteers Tom Williamson and Cathy Prince dig holes for the education pavilion.Sunday, a dozen volunteers broke a sweat digging up pesky mother-in-law’s tongue, roots and all, then digging holes five feet deep in the woods.

The work in the bush that began at 7 a.m., clearing and beginning construction of an outdoor education pavilion and two bridges at the Estate Adventure Nature Trail.

The holes were for the pavilion foundation of electric poles donated by the Water and Power Authority. Volunteers used post-hole diggers to begin and finished up with some volunteers on their knees digging deeper with shovels.

Olasee Davis, the project manger for the trail, said they hope to have the pavilion finished by June. At this point they are waiting on more materials for the project.

“The whole idea is for students to hike the trail and then stop at the pavilion and learn more about what they have seen in the area,” Davis says. The trail that opened in 2005 was developed to provide environmental education resources for V.I. youth, adults and visitors.

Richard Gideon, from Nature Conservancy and manger of the pavilion construction, says the structure will be 18 feet by 18 feet and will house benches.

“It could be done by June, but this is a weekend project only worked on two days at a time with volunteers,” Gideon says.

That brings up the need for more volunteers. Due to the nature of the growth of flora in the tropics there is always a lot of maintenance to be done on trails.

Davis says that groups can adopt a section of the trail to maintain and students can volunteer for their community service hours.

Rita Bannister volunteers at Adventure Trail.“This is hard work but it will pay off in the end,” Jean Belardo, ninth grader at Good Hope School said. “I can feel proud about working on this.”

The trail is a 1.5-mile loop in the central part of the island, south of the V.I. Agriculture Department in Estate Lower Love, directly off the Queen Mary Highway. Cane was grown in the area until 1966. The trail has several historical structures, including an old bridge, a dam, and the ruins of a water mill.

Davis said he is waiting to hear from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources about the area being designated as a wildlife preserve.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for people who care about the environment to get together,” Alan Bronstein, volunteer from the Hiking Association, said.

The trail was made possible by a grant from the V.I. Department of Agriculture Urban and Community Forestry program.
Further information about the trail can be obtained by contacting Davis at 692-4053 or Julie Wright at V.I. Resource Conservation & Development Council, 692-9632.

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