Greetings!

There is a remarkable joy in a child learning and growing under the summer sun!

We are happy to have been a part of some one hundred campers learning how to swim, how to bake Johnny Cakes, and how to sift for archaeology treasures this summer. In addition the teenagers in our Summer Trail Crew worked hard clearing trails and ruins, learned a lot about things like turtle nesting patterns, coral reef ecosystems, and lion fish eradication, and got to experience the magic of snorkeling, diving, and kayaking in our beautiful waters.

Turtle season is off to a good start with four critically endangered hawksbill nests incubating thanks to the wonderful cadre of trained volunteers who walk our beaches daily.

As we shift gears to the start of a new school year and a new tourist season, our School Kids In The Park (SKIP) program kicks off, educational flyers for visitors are available to villa owners, and we have opened up registration for the Paddle The Park event in November. Come on down and join in this fun SUP paddle in Maho Bay!

We hope that your summer has been half as productive and fun as ours has been! Thank you sharing a passion for the gifts of our park! May you enjoy the warm golden sunrises and sunsets of this time of year!

Warmly,
Tonia Lovejoy
Executive Director
Summer Trail Crew
And that’s a wrap on an amazing six weeks! In their final week this great crew worked on the treads on the Johnny Horn trail, expanded the ruin clearing at Leinster Bay Factory ruins, worked in the nursery, and did a tour of the VIERS Research Lab. Over the past six weeks they have cleared trails and ruins including a couple of days on Hassel Island, picked up trash, planted trees, learned about coral, turtles, and plants, and had the opportunity to snorkel, dive, kayak, and more.

We thank them for their incredible hard work and their willingness to engage and learn. 
Learn To Swim & Summer Camp
Friends has offered free swim lessons to St. John youth during the summer months in the park for more than a decade including funding the certification and training of life guards and instructors. In June and July over 100 summer camp students and community members attended classes. Our Saturday Swim Open House will start up again in the fall.

In addition to swim lessons Friends organized and funded entertaining and educational learning sessions on turtles, native plants, making Johnny Cakes, and more for the summer camps on island: Sports, Park & Recreation, Boys and Girls Club of America, and Gifft Hill School.
Paddle The Park Registration Open
Sunday, November 13

Welcome to the 9th Annual Paddle The Park.
This fun event comprises three SUP courses starting and ending on Maho Bay Beach and is open to all ages and skill levels. Boards are available to rent.

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park Paddle the Park event gets our season off to a fun start and raises funds for programs like turtle protection, mangrove research and restoration, and coral reef protection.
School Kids In The Park
Friends is excited to get our School Kids In The Park (SKIP) program back in full swing following all the interruptions of the past few years! With classes in the VI starting back this month, we look forward to working alongside the National Park Service to welcome students into the wonderful outdoor classroom on our doorstep.

Friends coordinates and funds trips to the park and classroom visits for local schools and youth organizations. In addition a number of teaching aids and resources on subjects as varied as turtles, coral, storytelling, and St. John history can be found on our website.
Sea Turtle News
This season we have over 65 trained volunteers who together with the Turtle Protection Program Coordinators, monitor over 47 beaches island wide from July-November. This awesome crew conduct early morning beach patrols looking for nesting activity primarily of the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle.  We are happy to report that we currently have 4 hawksbill nests incubating. In addition we have had one hatched leatherback nest and one leatherback nest that unfortunately did not hatch.

Be A Turtle Friend!
🐢Do wear rash guards and reef safe sunscreen.
🐢Don't touch a sea turtle! Aside from harming them, it's the law!
🐢Keep six feet away when snorkeling and don't chase them.
Visitor Flyers & Villa Inserts Available
Attention St. John villa owners, hotels, and management companies! 

We have a new visitor flyers and villa book inserts to welcome your guests to our island park. They provide useful tips on how everyone can help protect the beautiful, rich natural and cultural gifts of the park and enjoy their visit to St. John. 

Please contact Jennifer Stone at jstone@friendsvinp.org if you would like copies.
Villas For The Park 2022
Attention St. John villa owners, hotels, and management companies! 

Welcome to our 6th Annual Villas For The Park auction! This event is made possible thanks to the generosity of villa owners who donate stays! All proceeds from the auction make a difference in helping protect and preserve Virgin Islands National Park! Please contact Jennifer Stone at jstone@friendsvinp.org if you would like to donate a stay.

Auction registration opens on Friday, August 12. The auction catalogue will be available for viewing on October 1. Bidding opens on Friday, November 11 at 9AM EST and closes on Friday, November 25 at 3PM EST.
Useful Numbers for Park Stewards