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National Park Week: Go Wild!

April 18, 2014

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Among the many reasons St John is special, our National Park is surely a front runner.  Comprising 70% of our beautiful island, the Park is a major tourist attraction and also minimizes development and ensures that our beaches and trails will stay pristine.

Every year the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation invite people nationwide to celebrate National Park Week, this year from April 19th to April 27th.  There are more than 400 National Parks nationwide, and people are encouraged to get out and explore them this week – Parks will even be waiving entrance fees on April 19th and 20th.  (For the VINP on St John, our only entrance fee is at Trunk Bay).  This year’s theme, “Go Wild!”, serves as a reminder to get out and enjoy the protected wilderness across the country, and to learn about the history, wildlife, and cultures represented in our National Parks.  For more information, check out this article from nationalpark.org or watch this hilarious (at least to me) video they made to promote National Park Week:

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar, here’s a little background on our Park here in St John:

– It’s comprised of 7,000 acres, most of which was donated by conservationist Laurance Rockefeller to establish the Park in 1956.

– The Park also has over 5,000 undersea acres of protected reef and other marine ecosystems.

– Much of the island’s vegetation is second-growth, as vast portions of St John were clear cut in the colonial period to allow for the growth of sugar cane

– Throughout history St John has been a nexus between Caribbean cultures, European exploration, and the African slave trade. The archaeology program within the VINP has been working to illuminate the fascinating history of St John.

For more information, we recommend the VINP website and the St John Historical Society – both are great resources!

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