Hundreds of Students Celebrate Earth Day With Classmates and Friends of VINP


St. John Administrator Camille Paris, center, celebrates Earth Day 2015 with the island’s school students on Friday, April 24 at VINP ball field.



CRUZ BAY — About 200 St. John students enjoyed a morning in the sun, celebrating Earth Day at the National Park ball field on Friday, April 24.
Students from the Julius E. Sprauve School, Gifft Hill School and St. John Christian Academy joined the celebration.

For organizers and outreach workers, it was a day of fun and crafts. It was also an opportunity to share earth conscious ideas and promote recycling.

Each student took home a reusable tote bags, stamped with the logo from their host, the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park.  Friends Programs Director Karen  Jarvis said the group, its staff and volunteers, look forward to every Earth Day fair they have put on since 2007.

“We like to think we are creating future stewards of the earth,” Jarvis said. “It’s a great thing and we enjoy doing it.”

An estimated 200 students browsed displays and got a chance to create litter critters, using recycled water bottles. Howard Forbes Jr., program coordinator with the V.I. Marine Advisory Service, directed the creation of bird feeders.

Not only are the feeders fun to make, he said, they’re versatile. With a slight variation they can be used to grow seedlings in a self watering system.

“It’s basically getting the community to get involved in the environment, to become environmental stewards,” Forbes said.

Gifft Hill teacher Sean Debbraccio said his group of 20 students made posters during their time at the ball field. GHS, in conjunction with the University of Iowa, sponsor a sustainable earth program, teaching students eco-friendly farming methods.