The Estate Little Princess to Host National Masonry Training Program

The Estate Little Princess to Host National Masonry Training Program


Starting today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew (in partnership with the Nature’s Conservancy) will be having a two-week masonry training at Estate Little Princess St. Croix. The Estate Little Princess was established in 1749 and is a historically and culturally important site. The HOPE Crew program brings preservation and preservation trades to a younger audience. In partnership with CHANT’s (Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism) Invisible Heritage pre-apprenticeship program, HOPE Crew will focus on training five local youth in masonry techniques. Read full article on the St. Croix Source here.

#stcroix #historicalbuildings #preservation #usvi #heritage #nature

Bring Back the St. Croix Ground Lizard

Bring Back the St. Croix Ground Lizard

The St. Croix ground lizard is so rare. Since 1969, the indigenous lizard had not been found on St Croix, having been eliminated by mongoose, rats, and degraded habitats. Recently, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources has experimentally returned the namesake St. Croix Ground Lizard to St. Croix for the first time in 50 years. It is one of the world’s most endangered reptiles!

In an effort to help recover the species from being endangered, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has reintroduced two experimental populations to St. Croix. Since 2020, a big cooperative project with different partners have tried to create an environment more friendly to the indigenous lizard population.

Organizations involved in the project include: Division of Fish and Wildlife, the University of the Virgin Islands, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Service, DPNR Coastal Zone Management Division, St. Croix Environmental Association, California Academy of Sciences, and Texas A&M University.

Read the full article here.

Photo from St. Croix Source, credit to Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

#lizard #stcroix #usvi #caribbean #endangeredspecies #preservation #conservation #environment

Governor Plans to Make St. Croix 100 Percent Solar-Powered

Governor Plans to Make St. Croix 100 Percent Solar-Powered

In March, Governor Albert Bryan announced that he plans on making St. Croix 100 percent solar-powered by partnering with a major energy firm that could build and maintain a solar plant powerful enough to easily energize the 84-square mile island. He cites that the rising cost of fuel could cause utility bills to go up and this could threaten the economy. He hopes to accomplish this in months and said, “I told my people think about it as we need to get the whole island energized in 90 days…” and avoid the high utility costs that the island experienced in 2008 and 2009.

The Virgin Islands Consortium also reported that Governor Bryan why he is prioritizing St. Croix for implementation. He said, “The reason why we’re looking at St. Croix is because it’s the easiest in terms of topography. We already had a 25 megabit plant that we were looking to install here, so it’s just fast-tracking everything.”

To read the full article click here.

Photo by Siemens Energy

#solar #stcroix #usvi #caribbean #solarpower #greenenergy

Southern Saint: An Island Lifestyle Brand Created in the USVI

Southern Saint: An Island Lifestyle Brand Created in the USVI

The newest addition to the retail space in downtown Christiansted is all about elevating style and fashion in sustainable ways. Introducing Southern Saint! Southern Saint is a premier island lifestyle brand founded on the shores of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It began as a shared vision three years ago by two entrepreneurs: Matthew Ridgway, owner of Caribbean Sea Adventures and contemporary artist Briana Casale Cox. From there, the idea between these two entrepreneurial minds further developed into creating clothing and swimwear that fit the unique personality of the islands: boat wear with a flair made of fabrics you want to live in. All items are designed on island in the studio by Briana and her assistant designer, Coral Hamilton and produced around the world.

“The name of the brand truly reflects the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said store manager and buyer Haylee Duke. St. Croix is the southernmost island of the three U.S. Virgin Islands “Saints” and the brand’s logo features the ever-popular mongoose; the animal originally brought in by the Danish to resolve the rodent problem on sugar plantations.

In the making for over three years, Southern Saint’s merchandise was ready to roll out at the start of the pandemic. Products were initially carried at St. Croix Surf Company before opening its doors of their retail space in September 2021. Here you will find swimwear for all shapes and sizes that allows ease of movement while working and playing on the water. There is no shortage of fashionable men’s wear either. According to Duke, Southern Saint is focused on giving men options to elevate their styles. “We noticed there was a gap in men’s fashion options on the island and we try to close that gap with Southern Saint.”

Sustainability is key for this luxury lifestyle brand. All clothes in the store are made from natural fibers like bamboo, linen and 100% organic cotton hand dyed with natural ingredients like roots and berries. The bathing suits are made from recycled materials, towels are made from discarded plastic water bottles and there is even a line of shorts made from coconuts! To shop their collection, visit southernsaintvi.com or check them out in person at their retail location on the corner of Queen Cross Street & Strand Street.

Article written by Anquanette Gaspard (agaspard@cruzanfoodie.com) for Coldwell Banker, St. Croix Realty

Photos from Southern Saint website

#stcroix #stcroixusvi #caribbean #swimwear #clothing #luxury #sustainable #clothing #swim #surf #virginislands #stjohn #stthomas

JS Therapies Offers Occupational, Speech & Physical Therapies to Children of St. Croix.

JS Therapies Offers Occupational, Speech & Physical Therapies to Children of St. Croix.

In addition to the physical beauty of St. Croix, it is often said that the sense of community and acceptance is what motivates many to pack their bags and make St. Croix their new home. This was the case when Julie Sommer and her husband boarded a plane to St. Croix with two suitcases and a 6-month-old baby to escape the brutal Midwest winter in the United States. What began as a winter escape 14 years ago turned into a permanent move geared towards offering occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy to children of St. Croix. “I was surprised to learn there were limited private services available in this field,” said Sommer. With her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (OT) and Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Sommer hit the ground running using her skills, education and expertise in OT to help St. Croix’s children and families.

Before opening her own private practice, JS Therapies, Sommer worked with Department of Education, Seaview Home Healthcare, Department of Health and offered private OT services in collaboration with Island Therapy Solutions. “Helping children learn, grow and shine using a play-based and family-centered approach is what JS Therapies is all about.” Primarily pediatric occupational therapy and speech therapy, Sommer and her staff treat clients with a variety of conditions ranging from neurological disorders, autism spectrum disorders, genetic conditions, Down Syndrome and developmental delays, to name a few.

JS Therapies has been busy developing and implementing new services for children and families throughout the territory with offices in St. Croix and St. Thomas. On St. Croix, Sunny the Fun Bus is the newest addition to their offerings. This clinic-on-the-go provides pediatric speech-language and occupational therapy services across the island. One of the goals for Sunny is to increase community awareness of the need and benefits of speech-language and occupational therapy and provide better access to these services. “Particularly for those living on the west side of the island and families with limited access to transportation to our Christiansted clinic, Sunny is out there providing community education and outreach and direct therapy services to those in need.” Sommer shared that the value of the services provided at JS Therapies can be seen and felt throughout the community, which has increased their need for more therapists. “We want to offer enhanced services and specialty programs like aquatic therapy and feeding therapy.” With more staff, Sommer emphasized that they would have the flexibility to do more home and community services with increased accessibility across the island and the territory. If you’re in this field with the desire to live in paradise, now is a great time to get in touch with JS Therapies to discuss joining their team. Coldwell Banker St. Croix Realty will be on hand to help you find a place to live. Visit their website at www.jstherapies.com/careers and apply today.

Article written by Anquanette Gaspard (agaspard@cruzanfoodie.com) for Coldwell Banker, St. Croix Realty

Photo from JS Therapies’ website

#stcroix #stcroixusvi #caribbean #physicaltherapy #occupationaltherapy #speechtherapy #childrentherapy #wellness #family

Feather Leaf Inn is St Croix’s Newest Eco Resort

Feather Leaf Inn is St Croix’s Newest Eco Resort

Two miles north of Frederiksted town lies a historic 17th century estate whose beautiful restoration created one of the most unique places to stay on St. Croix. Feather Leaf Inn is the island’s newest eco-retreat that has been fully transformed into a seaside botanical food-forest. Each of the inn’s charming sea view rooms is 100% solar powered featuring Danish architectural details and modern conveniences with its own private entrance and bathroom. Regardless of your location on the property, the shimmering shores of the secluded bay – perfect for snorkeling and swimming – is footsteps away.

Husband-and-wife owners Ryal Flegal and Corina Marks were up for the challenge to transform the 262- year-old sugar plantation at Butler Bay into an incredible immersive experience for travelers interested in a different kind of stay. The couple is known for saying, “If you’re looking for a hotel, book a hotel. If you’re looking for a Caribbean experience where you can explore and learn, come stay with us at the Feather Leaf Inn.” For example, there are no TVs in the rooms. Instead, guests can explore the sprawling estate grounds, unwind by the pool with a new book, stretch out in a hammock for a mid-day nap, or snorkel and dive in nearby Butler Bay. The possibilities here are endless!

The former private residence was previously listed on the National Register of Historic Places but fell into disrepair over the years. With this in mind, Ryan and Corina were committed to maintaining the building restoration at Feather Leaf Inn as an upcycle project. They made sure to salvage much of what was already there, like fallen mahogany trees and authentic Danish brick.

The nine guest rooms on the property are divided between three buildings. The Main House is a sprawling Caribbean paradise that houses 5 bedrooms, a dining room, private bathrooms, 52-ft gallery sunset porch, library, pool and a gorgeous backyard. The 1- bedroom Ocean House is a historic stone-arch carriage home that sleeps up to five people and has a full kitchen and large patio for lounging. The three-bedroom Dragonfly House features ocean-view balconies and double queen beds in each private room, making it an ideal location for groups traveling together.

Feather Leaf Inn’s impressive location makes the property the perfect venue for weddings and private parties, reunions, events and even retreats. The property can host up to 30 guests simultaneously, features several shared open spaces and has a large room that can be used for yoga and other classes. They also offer 100% plant-based catering, an ideal choice for yoga or wellness retreats. To book your stay at St. Croix’s newest eco-retreat, visit www.featherleafinn.com or give them a call at (340) 474-1358.

Article written by Anquanette Gaspard (agaspard@cruzanfoodie.com) for Coldwell Banker, St. Croix Realty

Photo from Feather Leaf Inn website

#stcroix #stcroixusvi #caribbean #resort #retreat #yoga #wellness #tourism #hotel #accommodation