Caribbean Real Estate Blog
National Parks in the Virgin Islands
To honor the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park and the 11th annual gala being held tomorrow, this month we are covering all things National Parks in the Virgin Islands!
For those that are not very familiar with the Virgin Islands, you might be surprised to hear that St. John is approximately 60% national park!
Here is a quick history and facts about the St. John National Park:
In 1917 the United States bought St. John from Denmark. By the 1930’s, news of the beautiful American island had spread to the United States mainland and the beginning of what was to become a tourism boom on St. John was established.
Laurence Rockefeller in 1956 donated land to the Federal Government to establish a National Park. The 5000 acres became the nation’s twenty-ninth National Park. The land was presented to Fred Seaton, who was the Secretary of the Interior, he promised the government would ‘take good and proper care of these precious acres and verdant hills and valleys and miles of sunny, sandy shores’. Since then other donations have been made and presently the Virgin Islands National Park includes 7200 acres of land and 5600 acres of underwater lands.
Today St. John thrives as a favored tourist destination. A construction boom in the past couple of years is changing St. John from a quiet, sleepy island to one with a little more traffic and development.
Note: The information contained in this brief history was gathered from St. John Backtime Eyewitness Accounts from 1718 to 1956, compiled by Ruth Hull Low and Rafael Valls, printed in 1985 and John Lonzo Anderson’s Random Notes on the History of St. John printed in 1970.
You can also read more on the park at National Geographic by clicking here
Look out for our post next week overviewing what the Friends of National Park is, and the following week a more in-depth post including more specific information on St. John’s National Park!