Home News Local news ADOPT A BEACH, BAY OR TRAIL, FRIENDS GROUP URGES

ADOPT A BEACH, BAY OR TRAIL, FRIENDS GROUP URGES

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March 4, 2003 – If you want to be a friend to a St. John or Hassel Island beach, bay or trail, adopt it, the Friends of the V.I. National Park's development director suggests.
"We need the help," Kim Lyons said.
The park does not have the resources to keep all of its trails, bays and beaches cleaned up, Lyons said, particularly during the winter tourism season, when park facilities get heavier usage.
Lyons said organizations, ad hoc groups, school groups and individuals can become adopters, but they must make a commitment to the upkeep of the area they adopt.
The first adoption cleanup happened on Feb. 27 at Brown Bay. Lyons said that an ad hoc hiking group with members from the V.I. Audubon Society, the St. John Historical Society, the Friends of the Park, Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant, and the park staff adopted an area along the north coast from Brown Bay to Leinster Bay.
Part of the group started from Hermitage and headed west toward Brown Bay. The group was headed by Beulah Dalmida-Smith, an assistant to park Superintendent John King.
The rest of the group, headed by Friends program manager Emily Burton, headed east from the Leinster Bay trail head near Annaberg Plantation. The volunteers found these remote beaches littered with all manner of items, including tires and clothing that may have been discarded by illegal aliens coming ashore in the area.
Burton said it seemed like the beach had never been cleaned. "Old plastic bottles just crumbled to pieces in our hands," she said.
Together, the two groups picked up a total of 84 bagfuls of trash, five tires, large bundles of rope and other bulky items. Park staff came in by boat to pick up the trash.
Lyons said the park will provide logistical support for any groups that want to adopt beaches, bays or trails in the national park on St. John or on Hassel Island in the St. Thomas harbor. It will arrange for transportation to Hassel Island if any group wants to take on that project. To volunteer or learn more, call Lyons at 779-4940.

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