Group Title: Future of America's National Parks
Title: Centennial strategy for Virgin Islands National Park
CITATION PDF VIEWER THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300650/00001
 Material Information
Title: Centennial strategy for Virgin Islands National Park
Series Title: Future of America's National Parks
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: United States Virgin Islands.
Virgin Islands National Park ( Contributor )
Publication Date: 2007
 Subjects
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States Virgin Islands -- Saint John -- Virgin Islands National Park
Caribbean
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300650
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:

VIIS_Centennial_Strategy ( PDF )


Full Text



















First Annual
Centennial Strategy for


Virgin Islands National Park




August 2007


CEffTEN NO AN


FUTURE

AMEICK
NATIONAL
PAK


INITIATIVE il '"













Vision Statement

Established in 1956, Virgin Islands National Park comprises slightly more than half of
the island of St. John island. In 1962, Congress expanded the boundary to include
5,650 acres of submerged lands to protect and preserve the coral reefs and seascapes.
And, in 1978 the legislation was amended to add Hassel Island, six acres in the Red
Hook, and four acres at the Wintberg Estate on St. Thomas.

VIIS protects internationally significant marine and terrestrial resources. Within its
borders lie protected bays of crystal blue-green waters and an abundance of coral reef
life, white sandy beaches shaded by seagrape trees, coconut palms, and tropical forests
providing habitat for over 800 species of plants. The park's cultural resources are
significant in the settlement and colonization of the New World, maritime history and
commerce, and African-American history, including artifacts from the Pre-Colombian
Amerindian civilization, remains of the Danish Colonial sugar plantations, and
reminders of African slavery and the subsistence culture that followed during the 100
years after Emancipation.

The Centennial vision of Virgin Islands National Park is to expand valuable research,
projects, and activities critical for the protection of the diverse and complex system
of park's coral reefs, which are some of the most biologically rich and economically
important coral reef resources in the world; to continue participation in partnerships
and to explore other opportunities; and to increase public education and appreciation
of the park's history, and participation and stewardship in the preservation of the
ark's resources.


Park/ Superintendent/ Program Manager
ark Hardgrove


Site: VIIS


Year: 2007











Site: VIIS STEWARDSHIP

X Provide inspiring, safe, and accessible places for people to enjoy the standard
to which all other park systems aspire.

Other Park/ Program performance goals)


IIS provides access to numerous tropical marine and terrestrial ecosystems
and historic plantation era resources. This is accomplished through
overlooks, trails, beaches, boat moorings, and historic sites. All are
maintained to provide safe access to the resources for the enjoyment and
inspiration of our visitors


be The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS











STEWARDSHIP


X Improve the condition of park resources and assets.


|X Rehabilitate high-priority historic buildings to good condition, and help
communities to preserve their history through programs like Preserve America.

VIIS has over 500 historic structures which date to the Caribbean plantation
era. Currently, 247 of those are on the List of Classified Structures.
Current funding only allows for rehabilitation and maintenance of four sites
encompassing approximately 20 structures. Proper stewardship of the park's
cultural resources includes ensuring that at least these four sites are in
good condition, all museum collection protection and preservation standards
are met, and that the park's archeological sites are in good condition. The
park is partnering with the Friends of VINP and the St. Thomas Historic Trust
to rehabilitate the Creque Marine Railway on Hassel Island, the oldest and
longest operating marine railway in the Caribbean. Meeting these goals will
require funding of numerous PMIS projects and support from local NGOs and
volunteers.

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


X Restore native habitats by controlling invasive species and reintroducing key
plant and animal species.

VIIS has commenced reducing the populations of feral animals and exotic
plants on park lands. Due to the interrelationship with inholdings and
adjacent lands, this will be an ongoing effort. While the park has identified
the distribution and abundance of feral and exotic species, it will require
additional funding of OFS and PMIS requests to accomplish results that will
have significant impact to native species. The reduction of exotic plant
species has been accomplished through the South Florida/Caribbean Exotic
Plant Management Team (EPMT). Eradication of these species requires periodic
retreatment, which is dependent on continued funding of the EPMT.

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


X Improve high-priority assets to acceptable condition, as measured by the
Facility Condition Index.

The Trunk Bay Sugar Factory is a historic structure (circa 1780) that is
listed on the National Register of Historic Places (81000088) and appears on
the List of Classified Structures for the park. The stabilization of the
masonry walls is critical to preventing structural collapse and the loss of
significant historic fabric. The preservation and interpretation of this
contributing structure to the Colonial Plantation Era is one of the park's
management objectives. The structures close proximity to Trunk Bay beach,
which can receive upwards of a thousand visitors a day makes this historic
resource a crucial element in interpreting the story of the Colonial System
on St. John. However, this close proximity to so many visitors threatens
public safety. These architecturally significant and fairly high, over fifty
feet tall masonry walls are deteriorating rapidly and will collapse in the


Site: VIIS











STEWARDSHIP


X Improve the condition of park resources and assets.


very near future if stabilization efforts are not addressed. Completion of
the project will eliminate a serious threat to visitor safety as well as
restore and preserve one of the park's most valuable assets. (PMIS 63867)

S The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS






X Improve the natural resources in parks, as measured by the vital signs
developed under the Natural Resource Challenge.

Vital Signs for VIIS have been identified through the South Florida/Caribbean
Inventory and Monitoring Program. Park staff and other collaborators (NOAA,
universities, scientists) are monitoring water and air quality, coral reef
health, reef fish populations, tropical forest dynamics, seagrass dynamics,
sea turtles, etc. Approximately 215 moorings in park waters are enabling
recovery of seagrass communities in many bays. And marine resource
protection patrols prevent damage to coral reefs from illegal anchoring and
prevent loss of endangered species (3 species of sea turtles) by poaching or
nesting disturbance. Continued funding of the I&M Program and funding of
several PMIS projects are necessary to ensure continued improvement of
natural resources in VIIS.

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


X Complete all cultural resource inventories for designated priority resources.


VIIS along with VICR are unique as they preserve one of the most diverse
collections of cultural and natural resources in the nation. Within the parks
are resources that are essential to the maritime history of the Caribbean.
The remains of hundreds of historic structures found throughout VIIS are
critical to the preservation of Virgin Islands history as they represent the
full range of historic themes including military fortifications, plantations,
slavery, hospitals, and maritime industry. The large numbers of prehistoric
sites in the park span the range of human occupation in the Caribbean and are
some of the best preserved in the Nation. The significant ceremonial sites
make them critical in the understanding the Caribbean's prehistoric past.
Curatorial needs include proper dedicated storage and display, timely
accessioning and cataloging, systematic routine housekeeping and maintenance,
and pest control. In order to give the collections the care they deserve
and require to meet NPS standards, a museum curatorial technician is
required. (OFS Number: 12675A)


Site: VIIS











STEWARDSHIP


X Improve the condition of park resources and assets.


S The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS










X Other Park/ Program performance goals)


The Park's greatest need in resource protection and visitor safety is to
reduce impacts caused by boating visitors and to maintain boat exclusion
zones to protect swimmers. Installation of new navigational aids and buoys
will accomplish this goal. Resource protection buoys, 125 regulatory buoys,
300 moorings will be installed and maintained. Implementation of these
measures and new actions will mitigate human activities that are causing a
rapid degradation of coral reef and seagrass ecosystems. A consistent and
properly funded maintenance program for all buoys in VIIS waters provides for
visitor safety, resource protection, and a reduction in liability and tort
claims. Mooring buoys assist novice boaters while preventing anchor or chain
damage to benthic communities, regulatory buoys prevent boats from running
aground on coral reefs, and boundary buoys clearly demarcate VIIS waters,
alerting unfamiliar visitors that they are within a National Park. This
would protect the existing National Park Service investment in buoys while
safeguarding the unique natural resources of the VIIS. (OFS Number: 8448A)


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS











STEWARDSHIP


X Serve as the Preeminent resource laboratory by applying excellence in science and
scholarship to understand and respond to environmental changes.

X Other Park/ Program performance goals)


VIIS is the site of many seminal research efforts in the Caribbean, starting
in the early 1950s. VIIS strives to solicit and encourage scientific research
in both natural and cultural fields to better understand the processes and
dynamics involved in tropical biology and ecology. Considerable work is being
done at VIIS in understanding changes in coral reef ecosystems as it relates
to changes in local, regional and global variables. Changes in dry tropical
forests due to hurricanes and seasonal rainfall patterns, coral reef changes
due to bleaching and disease, and changes in reef fish populations due to
habitat changes and fishing pressures are being monitored to better
understand and respond to environmental changes.

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS STEWARDSHIP

SEncourage children to be future conservationists.


X Other Park/ Program performance goals)


VIIS has employed an Education Coordinator to work with the local schools and
education groups to carry the park's message to the schools and facilitate
school children in visiting the park. The park supports an EcoCamp program
which brings approximately 180 children into the park for a two night stay at
the Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station for a hands-on experience
in a natural setting. Nearly every school in the St. Thomas/St. John school
district has visited the Cinnamon Bay Taino Indian archeology site. Here they
have learned about some of the original inhabitants of these islands and
experienced archeological methods in uncovering this history.


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS











ENVIRONMENT


X Reduce environmental impacts of park operations.


|X Reduce the environmental impacts of park operations on air and water quality.


A concrete block pit toilet at the Reef Bay hiking trail rest area needs to
be replaced with a new composting style toilet facility. The existing
toilet was constructed in 1970 is inadequate to meet current demands. Its
location is also intrusion on the historic scene of the Reef Bay Plantation
and is visible from the beach area, creating a negative impact on the visitor
experience. The Reef Bay Trail is the most popular hiking trail in the park
and attracts high visitation. Multiple hurricanes, tropical storms and the
harsh subtropical conditions at this isolated location have deteriorated the
facility. The park receives constant visitor complaints about the facility
appearance and unsanitary conditions. Replacement of this pit toilet will
allow for the accommodation of increased visitation. After a steep 3-mile
hike, this upgraded facility will be a welcomed sight to the weary hikers.
Public comment on the upgrading of this facility is positive and it would
greatly increase the visitor satisfaction to this historic cultural trail
area. The new facility will require fewer visits by maintenance staff to the
boat-only access location and reduce operational costs. PMIS 57645

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


X Other Park/ Program performance goals)


As part of the Green Energy Parks Program, we plan to construct an electric
charging station near park headquarters in Cruz Bay and purchase six electric
vehicles. These vehicles would be used in the vicinity of headquarters and in
a variety of other operations along the North Shore Road. The charging
station would be located in the Cruz Bay maintenance area and powered by
photovoltaic cells. Virgin Islands National Park is currently working in a
multi-level effort with gateway communities, local and territorial agencies
in preparing regional transportation planning and in beginning to look at
alternative transportation for visitors in the vicinity of the Cruz Bay
headquarters area where gridlock occurs on a daily basis throughout the year.
Unfortunately, the park has not had the funding resources available to begin
to address the use of alternative fuels. Funding would send the message to
the pubic and the over one million visitors annually to Saint John Island
that the National Park Service is serious about greening its operations, as
well as encouraging partners to do the same. PMIS 67658


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS











ENVIRONMENT


X Inspire an environmental conscience in Americans.


X Demonstrate environmental excellence through increased use of alternative
energy and fuels at every park.

To achieve this goal, Virgin Islands National Park will continue to use and
maintain their solar water heaters on park residences, the park will
continue to maintain its current system of photovoltaic cells and will work
to add new ones where appropriate.


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS


RECREATION


X Encourage collaboration among and assist park and recreation systems at every
level-federal, regional, state, local-to help build an outdoor recreation network
accessible to all Americans.

X Rehabilitate over 2,000 miles of trails within or connected to national
parks, including trails accessible to those with disabilities.

Virgin Islands National Park has no trails which are wheelchair accessible,
other than very short restroom or short beach access trails. This joint
project with the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park would provide
persons who are less than fully mobile an opportunity to visit two resources
that are representative of Virgin Islands National Park. The 1/4 mile Francis
Bay boardwalk trail would allow visitors to travel through a mangrove salt
marsh to a viewing platform on Francis Bay Beach. The Cinnamon Bay Ruins
Boardwalk would take visitors through a Sugar Plantation era ruins with
accessible wayside exhibits. Completed boardwalk will provide access to
Francis Bay Beach and Cinnamon Bay Ruins. There will be an increase in use on
the these trail from less than fully mobile visitors. (PMIS 133928)

S The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


X Other Park/ Program performance goals)


Develop culturally diverse educational programs and make presentations at
various locations within the park to included past and future acquired
artifacts discovered within the park.

Design special signage and Kiosk information template at entrance to various
sites.


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS











Site: VIIS


X Establish "volun-tourism" excursions to national parks for volunteers to help
achieve natural and cultural resource protection goals.

|X Increase annual volunteer hours by 100 percent, from 5.2 million hours to
10.4 million hours.

Continued with the on-going volunteer program which includes participation of
various community groups and local organizations, and foster new
opportunities by reaching other organizations willing to adapt and maintain
park assets as partners and steward of our resources.

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS RECREATION

SExpand partnerships with schools and boys and girls associations to show how
national park experiences can improve children's lives.

X Other Park/ Program performance goals)


Educate local community organizations, schools, churches, VI University, and
visitors about the mission of the park.

Provide stimulating and inspiring educational programs that reflect the
culture of the Virgin Islands and its people through demonstrations and
songs.


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


RECREATION











Site: VIIS


X Focus national, regional, and local tourism efforts to reach diverse audiences
and young people and to attract visitors to lesser-known parks.

|X Increase visitation by 25 percent at lesser-known parks through a national
tourism effort aimed at helping people to discover the breadth of parks and
experiences.

Establish and foster better relationships with the local tourism agencies.
Expand interest in Virgin Island culture and the park to wider audiences by
including the park programs in tourism publications and magazines.

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


X Increase the number of visitors that attend ranger-facilitated programs such
as campfire talks, hikes, and school programs.

Request funding for and construct a more attractive amphitheater. Offer
more culturally sensitive program to increase local visitation. Use various
promotion media such as radio and news paper continuously for achieving our
objectives.

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS EDUCATION

SCooperate with educators to provide curriculum materials, high-quality programs,
and park-based and online learning.

X Other Park/ Program performance goals)


Partner and collaborate with other governmental and non-governmental entities
to provide on and off-site curriculum based programs regarding the natural
and cultural history of the Park. The Park's Environmental Coordinator will
work with teachers and the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park in order
to provide assistance with transportation for those classes which are unable
to provide for such.


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


RECREATION











Site: VIIS


X Introduce young people and their families to national parks by using exciting
media and technology.

|X Increase the number of web hits through the introduction of advanced,
interactive features that attract young people to national parks.

Virgin Islands National Park will expand the use of its website by creating
interactive tools and other media features that would enable visitors who are
not able to travel to the Park to learn about the resources.

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS EDUCATION

SImpart to every American a sense of their citizen ownership of their national
parks.

X Increase visitors' satisfaction, understanding, and appreciation of the parks
they visit.

Increase the number of visitor contacts through both informal and formal
interpretation. Virgin Islands National Park will seek to have interpreters
and/or volunteers stationed in high visitation areas such as scenic vistas,
beaches, and historic sites to answer visitors' questions and provide general
information regarding the Park, including its significance.

The Park will seek to increase by 50% the number of formal interpretive
programs. The programs will include statements of the Park's significance
and follow themes supporting said significance.


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS PROFESSIONALISM

SUse strategic planning to promote management excellence.


X Establish a structured professional development curriculum to provide park
managers with the skills to apply best business practices and superior
leadership.

he park will increase the use of the Telestation to ensure that park
managers and supervisors meet or exceed their annual training requirements.


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


EDUCATION











PROFESSIONALISM


X Promote a safety and health culture for all employees and visitors.


|X Reduce the number of employee lost-time incidents and serious visitor
injuries by 20 percent.

The park is proactive in developing a strong Incident Command structure for
hurricane preparedness. Activities including maintaining a well stocked
emergency cache, preseason check of generators, and conducting partial
shutdown drills prepare the park staff for safe and efficient operations
during storm emergency situations.

The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


X Other Park/ Program performance goals)


Continue 365 day a year lifeguard protection at Trunk Bay. Trunk Bay is the
most visited site in Virgin Islands National Park. Daily lifeguard coverage
improves swimmer safety by warning visitors about hazards, keeping powerboats
out of the swim area, assisting/rescuing swimmers in trouble, and providing
immediate emergency medical care for injuries. Redesign and rebuild
lifeguard stands for increased effectiveness.


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS











PROFESSIONALISM


X Make national parks the first choice in philanthropic giving among those
concerned about environmental, cultural, and recreational values.

X Other Park/ Program performance goals)


This Park is one of the most important and exhilarating examples of the value
of philanthropy within the NPS. This park was established as a direct result
of the vision and generosity of Laurance Rockefeller who donated the property
that became Virgin Islands National Park. At the December 1, 1956 dedication
ceremony, he stated, "To those everywhere who love natural beauty it is an
important step forward in the continuing cause of permanently preserving for
all men those matchless places that, once spoiled, may be lost forever."

It is the continuing support of the Rockefeller family, Friends of Virgin
Islands National Park, Jackson Hole Preserve, Eastern National, Volunteers-
in-Park, and many other groups and individuals who believe in the natural and
cultural conservation of the park that allow us to achieve our mission.

The park will continue to seek partnerships and the support of those who
believe preserving our resources so that the national treasure that is Virgin
Islands National Park will continue be enjoyed today and by future
generations.


The work described currently is supported by OFS and/ or PMIS


Site: VIIS




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs