Friends of the VINP Launches “Villas for the Park” Program


Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is unveiling a new villa partner program that will benefit island villa owners, villa managers and Virgin Islands National Park.  “Villas for the Park” now gives St. John visitors a way to support the park at no cost when they stay at vacation rentals found on the Friends website. The vacation stay generates a donation by Villa Partners that translates to accomplish protection and preservation for our park.

When visitors are looking for a vacation rental, they simply use the portal to many villas and vacation rentals to choose from at  Once the guest completes their stay, the Villa Partner makes a donation to Friends that directly benefits our park, which keeps visitors coming to our island.  Villa Partners are listed on the Villas for the Park page in order of donation levels:  15, 10 and 5 percent, so that visitors can choose a villa based on level of park support, as well.

The program was conceived by Friends development director, Karen Vahling, who wanted to create a fresh fundraising approach to support Friend’s 23 programs and projects in the park. 

“Friends has a valuable reach to over 3,000 loyal members, an extensive email database, a high-traffic website and tens of thousands of social media contacts.  This powerful reach brings St. John lovers who are looking for their next stay together with Villa Partners who support the park.” said Vahling.  “This is truly a win-win situation,” she added. 

Every villa manager contacted so far has signed up for the program.  Cimmaron St. John, for instance, donates 10 percent for every guest who books through the website — even for repeat bookings.  There is no price difference for the guests who use the Friends website portal to view Cimmaron’s 60 villas or other partner properties. 

Another bonus for villa shoppers: a FREE Family Friends Membership when they complete a booking.  The membership card gives valuable discounts on shopping and activities with Friends Affinity Partners during their stay, as well as discounts on Friends of the Park Store merchandise.  Once enrolled, members are engaged in national park news through Tidings, Friends’ tri-annual newsletter, encouraging them to come stay again, attend Friends events and to support the park. 

There is no cost to be added to the Friends website as a Villa Partner and any villa owner or manager can register online at under the “For Villa Owners” tab.  Each Villa Partner is given space for one “flagship photo” and one paragraph summarizing their villa or villas managed.

“Visitors need accomodations, villas need business, our park needs protection.  Friends can help,” said Vahling.  “Together, we can accomplish great things for our Virgin Islands National Park.”

For more information or to get set up as a Villa Partner at no cost, contact Karen Vahling at 340-779-4940 or or visit