Home News Local news V.I. National Park to Celebrate Milestone Friday

V.I. National Park to Celebrate Milestone Friday


Nov. 29, 2006 — V.I. National Park is throwing a party Friday to celebrate its 50th anniversary and everyone's invited.
"It's like a wedding anniversary. Fifty years is a good thing," Paul Thomas, the park's chief of the Interpretive Division, said Wednesday.
He said that the park has served as a positive force for the community by preserving the island's natural and cultural heritage.
"And it's been an economic plus for St. John," he said, adding that taxi drivers and businesses in particular benefit from the park's presence.
Activities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event starts with a short parade from the park's maintenance facility near Mongoose Junction shopping center to the park's ball field, which is located next to the visitors center. The marchers included the Junior ROTC Color Guard and the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Program marching band. Welcoming remarks and speeches will follow.
National Park Service Director Mary Bomar will deliver the keynote address, with Southeast Regional Director Patricia Hooks, Southeast Deputy Regional Director Art Frederick, Gov. Charles Turnbull and Delegate Donna M. Christensen also taking their turn at the microphone.
A community picnic in the ball field will follow the speeches.
Entertainment throughout the day will be provided by Lockhart Elementary School Quadrille Dancers, St. John School of the Arts, the Love City Pan Dragons and KoKo and the Sunshine Band.
To celebrate the event, the park is waiving the entrance fee at Trunk Bay for the day.
On Dec. 1, 1956, the community gathered in Cruz Bay Park to watch philanthropist Laurence Rockefeller turn over the deed for 5,000 acres of St. John land to officials of the U.S. Interior Department.
In 1962, Congress expanded the boundary of V.I. National Park to include 5,650 acres of submerged lands.
Former President Bill Clinton in 2001 added to the park's protected offshore area when he designated12,708 acres as Coral Reef National Monument.


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