The Trust for Virgin Islands Land (TVIL) has announced a significant gift of valuable agricultural land on St. Croix. The donors, Pat and Macy Wall, have deeded 40 acres of Lowry Hill on the South Shore to TVIL out of a desire to see it preserved and, ultimately, part of a park.
The land is part of the 1,200-acre Castle Nugent National Historic Park that was proposed to the U.S. Congress in 2006 through the office of Delegate Donna Christiansen and approved by the House of Representatives that same year. With the change of political winds and the economic crisis in 2008, the project has languished and stalled. The then Secretary of the Interior Salazar described the area as one of the most beautifully preserved historical park sites in the national inventory. The Pat and Macy Wall gift is a clear sign of hope for continuing with park planning on a local level.
"We feel that our years of preparing to responsibly accept gifts of land have allowed us to effectively assist Pat and Macy Wall with this gift within the legal constraints and requirements of the IRS timetable on very short notice. We were able to serve a private landowner and the Virgin Islands public, and that is a sweet moment of satisfaction," Nataki Finch Richards, the executive director for TVIL said.
"The South Shore of St. Croix is a special place, and I was fortunate to be able to spend my childhood there. The more we have traveled the world, the more we have realized just how special it is. My wife Pat and I sincerely hope that TVIL can use our gift to spark the creation of a park on the South Shore for the benefit of generations of Crucians." Macy Wall said.
The Trust for Virgin Islands Lands is a nonprofit 501c (3) organization that was formed in 2006 and has protected over 100 acres of land on St. Croix and St. John. On St. Croix, TVIL was granted a perpetual easement on 30 acres of privately held land near Annaly Bay in 2009, obtained title to 15 acres in Estate Marienhoj in 2013, and raised funds to acquire 10 acres in Estate Spring Garden in 2015.
In cooperation with the Nature Conservancy and the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, TVIL acquired 22 acres of pristine, mature forest in the Coral Bay watershed on St. John in 2012.
For more information, visit www.virginislandslandtrust.org