Record $6.5 million grant will improve climate resiliency and food security

Record $6.5 million grant will improve climate resiliency and food security

St. Croix as the V.I. Trail Alliance, St. George Village Botanical Garden and V.I. Agriculture Department came together last week at Government House on St. Croix, to celebrate the award of a record $6.5 million in federal urban forestry grants meant to improve the island’s climate resiliency and food security. The St. Croix Source’s article this weekend reported that Agriculture Commissioner Louis Petersen said the money will allow the department, which partners with the V.I. Trail Alliance, to plant a variety of trees to increase food production but also to train people to nurture and maintain the green spaces, creating job opportunities and economic benefits to the community. Read the full article here.

The proposal for the grant included inspiring and programs and solutions for urban forestry that included using trees here is to offset food insecurity, educating youth and paid training for the workforce, facilitating projects geared to community education, workforce development in urban forestry, climate mitigation, forest conservation and food resilience, and more.

To commemorate the award of $6.5 million in urban forestry grants for the big island under President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, members of the V.I. Trail Alliance, My Brother’s Workshop, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico, and the Urban and Community Forestry Program of the U.S. Forest Service planted a mastic bully tree at the Estate Adventure Pavilion and Trail on Wednesday on St. Croix (photo above).

St. Croix’s Eco-friendly Tourism

St. Croix’s Eco-friendly Tourism

We were excited to read Travel + Leisure‘s February 2024 Water Issue and seeing St. Croix and local businesses in the spotlight! In the online article (a version of this story first appeared in the mentioned issue of Travel + Leisure) “The Largest U.S. Virgin Island Is Largely Unspoiled — Thanks to Its Eco-friendly Ethos” Travel + Leisure highlighted St Croix as a bright, eco-friendly, low-impact choice for tourism in the Caribbean.

St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is not overdeveloped and much of its natural beauty remains unspoiled. There are limited nonstop flights from major cities, relatively few cruise ships, and no mega-resorts — just a smattering of boutique hotels.

Travel + Leisure

Bush Cook, a three-day community fair at Sejah Farm, Jack & Isaac Bay Preserve, Feather Leaf Inn, Coral Innovation Hub, and more were featured. Read the e-version of the article here.

71st Crucian Christmas Festival

71st Crucian Christmas Festival

The Crucian Christmas Festival is a very special celebration for us, we are always excited to see tourists and former residents return to St. Croix to participate in the array of unique events offered by the festival every year with residents on St. Croix. The Department of Tourism and Division of Festivals celebrated another successful Crucian Christmas Festival — St. Croix’s signature cultural event spanning twelve days with rich array of activities according the VI Consortium. For 12 days starting on December 26th, the festival showcased the island’s rich cultural heritage via many events such as the Prince, Princess, Dutch, and Duchess Show, the Queen Pageant, International Cultural Night, the annual Food Fair held at the Frederiksted Pier, J’ouvert, the Children’s Parade, the Adults Parade, and more!

The festival’s successful run culminated with a post-parade fireworks display and Uber Soca Night at the Frederiksted Village, featuring international AfroBeats star Davido and Caribbean Music Awards Soca Performer of the Year Mr. Killa. Read the full article on the VI Consortium here.

Sandy Point, St Croix Named No. 1 Beach for 2024 by Caribbean Journal

Sandy Point, St Croix Named No. 1 Beach for 2024 by Caribbean Journal

In the Caribbean Journal’s “The 25 Best Beaches in the Caribbean to Visit in 2024,” the publication named Sand Point as their number one pick!

“Our number one beach for 2024 is a stunner: Sandy Point, the spectacular stretch of sand on the far southwestern tip of St Croix, just south of Frederiksted. This is a wonder of the Caribbean, tucked away in a National Wildlife Refuge, where you’ll feel like you’ve discovered your own secret beach. It’s a reminder of the sometimes overwhelming natural beauty of the island of St Croix. “

Caribbean Journal Staff – January 3, 2024

For this year’s list, the journal cited said their objective this year was to focus on beaches that are not just beautiful, but reachable. They further explain that means almost every beach on their list can be driven to from a Caribbean airport so you won’t need to charter a boat, or “say a secret password and commandeer a dinghy” to reach them.

The list also includes beaches in our sister islands on USVI:

No. 15 Maho Beach, St John, US Virgin Islands at number

No. 16 Magens Bay, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

For the full list of beaches, read the original article here.

Photo from Caribbean Journal

Denis Sullivan returns to St. Croix

Denis Sullivan returns to St. Croix

Denis Sullivan, also known as “The Great Lakes Schooner” is back for its second year to St. Croix along with the World Ocean School! On St. Croix, we are used to seeing Roseway in the harbor annually. However, the 1925 Grand Banks schooner and National Historical Landmark is undergoing a multi-year restoration project. Last year, Roseway’s sister ship the Denis Sullivan embarked on voyages in Boston and St. Croix for the the World Ocean School. We are excited to see her back at the Christiansted Harbor! According to the St. Croix Source, the schooner will welcome many students from St. Croix public schools for experiential learning. Students will participate in multi-day programs to learn how to take care of a wooden tall ship and raise the sails, all while learning team-building skills and seeing academics come to life. Crew members on board Denis Sullivan and the deckhand educators, provide lessons while underway. Residents and tourists can also sail on the schooner around Christiansted Harbor and enjoy the beautiful views of St. Croix with family and friends while hoisting the sails or relaxing during the two-hour cruise around the harbor. All proceeds from sail tickets support World Ocean School’s educational programs. For more information, visit the World Ocean School website.

Photo from World Ocean School

St. Croix Holiday Shopping — Support Local Businesses!

St. Croix Holiday Shopping — Support Local Businesses!

It’s holiday shopping time, and time to think of those we love. For gifts, we shop locally, and we encourage others to do the same. Not only are you buying your loved ones unusual and often hand-made items, you are supporting local businesses! Your gift dollars are helping Crucians to pay their rent, send their children to school, buy food and gas, and cover other expenses. Small businesses depend on our business. Think of it as giving twice – one gift to your loved one, and the second to the small business owner. We have such a variety of shops and services here! To get us in the holiday spirit, there are many holiday events where shopping is a delightful adventure! Below are some ideas for local shops where we have found wonderful gifts! If you can’t choose a present, another way of giving is a gift certificate to a shop or restaurant, or a donation in that person’s name to one of the island’s many organizations who help make a difference on St. Croix!

Chris and I hope you have a wonderful holiday, enjoy the colorful lights, eat yummy food, and connect with friends and family in the heartfelt warmth of the season. Of course, if you are on St. Croix, you are already warm and surrounded by the smiling faces of those of us who are blessed to live here! It’s a wonderful time of the year! Happy holidays!

Chaney Chicks & Island Gifts, LLC – https://www.chaneychicks.com

Crucian Gold – https://cruciangold.com

Cultured Naturals Body Care – https://culturednaturalsbodycare.com

Dive Experience – https://divexp.com

FantaSea Jewelry – https://fantaseajewelry.com

From the Gecko Boutique – https://fromthegecko.com

ib designs – https://ibdesignsvi.com

Joyia-Inspirational Jewelry- https://joyiajewelry.com

Many Hands Gallery – https://www.yelp.com/biz/many-hands-art-christiansted

Mitchell Larsen Studio – https://mitchelllarsenstudio.com

Riddims – https://www.facebook.com/riddimsstx

RJS Handmade Designs – https://www.rjshandmadedesigns.com

Sonya Ltd. – https://www.sonyaltdstore.com

Southgate Corner Farmers’ Market – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1173503619716087

St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures – https://www.stcroixscuba.com

Susan Mango St Croix – https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Mango-St-Croix-554417361587639

Sweet Lime Furnishings – https://www.sweetlimefurnishings.com

The Frame Up – https://www.facebook.com/theframeupstcroix

Tropical Bracelet Factory – https://www.islandbracelets.com

Undercover Books & Gifts, St. Croix – http://www.undercoverbooksstcroix.com

Nonprofit Organizations:

Lion Haven St. Croix Community Center – https://www.facebook.com/lionhavenstx/

My Brother’s Workshop STX – https://mybrothersworkshop.org

REAL Cruzan Cats – https://www.realcruzancats.org

Ruff Start STX – https://stcroixawc.org

St. Croix Animal Welfare Center – https://stcroixawc.org/

St. Croix Environmental Association – http://www.stxenvironmental.org/

St. George Village Botanical Garden – http://sgvbg.org/

The Nature Conservancy in the Caribbean – https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/caribbean

World Ocean School – https://worldoceanschool.org/

YAG Breast Cancer Foundation – http://www.yagfoundation.org/