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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, April 21, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsCommunity Celebration to Mark Opening of New Cruz Bay Playground

Community Celebration to Mark Opening of New Cruz Bay Playground

Gifft Hill students work on a mosaic at the new playground in Cruz Bay. (Source photo by Amy H. Roberts)
Students from Gifft Hill School work on a mosaic at the new playground in Cruz Bay. A celebration marking its opening will be held on March 25. (Source photo by Amy H. Roberts)

After years of hard work, the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park will celebrate the opening of the Cruz Bay playground that was destroyed in the hurricanes of September 2017.

The celebration will take place on March 25 from 10 a.m. to noon at the park located adjacent to the National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay. It is open to all, and will include light refreshments, music, and performances by moko jumbies and the Dynamic Dancers.

“This opening is an opportunity to celebrate a project that has come about thanks to the contributions of a wide range of members of our community,” said Tonia Lovejoy, executive director of Friends. “It is a day to celebrate a collective passion to give our children a place to be just that, children!”

This stage of completion marks the end of the first phase of the project to rebuild the playground that was damaged in the 2017 hurricanes, according to a press release announcing the celebration. Construction of the new playground was launched thanks to a generous donation from Dr. Steven and Jann Paul and supported by hundreds of other community members, it said.

Crystal D’Abbraccio, the artist leading the mosaic project at the new Cruz Bay playground. (Source photo by Amy H. Roberts)
Crystal D’Abbraccio, the artist leading the mosaic project at the new Cruz Bay playground. (Source photo by Amy H. Roberts)

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and its members will continue to support upgrades to the National Park Visitors Center site over the coming year, including a second phase of the playground project to include elements such as a miniature replica of the historic Customs House in Cruz Bay, as well as interpretative signage, additional mosaic work, and a native plant walk.

The launch of the second phase of the playground project is possible thanks to the Andy Stillman Memorial Fund and a Governor’s Education Stabilization Grant awarded to Sports, Parks and Recreation by the V.I. Legislature and confirmed by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. in January.

Following the opening of the playground, the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation on St. John will take over management and maintenance of the playground, along with the adjacent ball field, under a special use permit with the National Park Service, the release stated.

For more information visit the Friends website.

A completed mosaic at the new playground in Cruz Bay on St. John. (Source photo by Amy H. Roberts)
A completed mosaic at the new playground in Cruz Bay on St. John. (Source photo by Amy H. Roberts)
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