(L to R) VINP Chief of Resource Management Rafe Boulon, VINP Superintendent Mark Hardgrove, Maho Bay Camps and Estate Concordia owner Stanley Selengut, Concordia resort manager Wayne Lloyd and Trust for Public Land’s John Garrison gather in front of Nanny Point to commemorate the official transfer of the land to the V.I. National Park.
Maps depicting the V.I. National Park will have to be updated.
Maho Bay Campground and Estate Concordia owner Stanley Selengut officially transferred a highly visible 2.2-acre parcel of land, valued at $2.2 million, on the southeastern shore of St. John to the V.I. National Park on Thursday, June 10.
After officially securing the warranty donation deed at the Bureau of Records on St. Thomas on June 10, a small gathering was hosted at Nanny Point later in the afternoon.
Selengut, widely regarded as a founding father of eco-resorts for his pioneering environmentally-sensitive design and construction practices at Maho and Concordia, started the process of handing over Nanny Point to VINP more than a year ago.
“About a year and a half ago, Stanley presented the deed to this 2.2 acres of land to the Trust for Public Land,” said John Garrison, Trust for Public Land’s project manager. “This isn’t just any land either. This is one of the most special and spiritual pieces of land on all of St. John.”
“If you hike out there, you will agree how special it is,” said Garrison. “Thanks to Stanley’s vision and generosity, we’ve been able to preserve this piece of land.”
After obtaining the deed, Garrison worked with surveyors, realtors and waded through bureaucratic red tape to officially redraw the VINP boundary to include Nanny Point, which juts out just north of Drunk Bay near Estate Concordia.
“TPL worked with the bank, the National Park Service and the VINP to expand the park boundary after months of title searches, insurance searches and surveys to secure this warranty donation deed,” said Garrison.
The national non-profit land conservation organization — which was instrumental in securing more than 400 acres of Estate Maho Bay for protection last year — also relied on the generosity of its members to pave the way for Nanny Point’s inclusion in VINP, explained Garrison.
“It cost about $45,000 to handle this transaction and that was thanks to the generosity of our donors,” he said. “Thanks to Stanley’s generosity and vision and the generosity of our donors, this $2.2 million, 2.2.-acre property is now and will be forever a part of VINP.”
VINP Superintendent Mark Hardgrove was on hand to celebrate the expansion of the park and hailed close partnerships for the recent success.
“With partners like these, we just keep doing great things,” said Hardgrove. “Great things like this come together because of people like you. On behalf of National Park Service, VINP staff and the community, I accept this very wonderful present.”
Nanny Point’s location, jutting out off the coastline, makes the area visible from a wide area, and makes its preservation especially important, explained VINP’s Chief of Resource Management Rafe Boulon.
“What makes this point so special is its visual impact,” said Boulon. “This is a very visible location that, if developed, would disrupt the beauty of the entire area. Also it is an incredibly rich ecological area just full of cacti and wind and salt tolerant plant life.”
“I haven’t seen the density of plant life like out here really anywhere else,” Boulon said. “It really is a special place and I’m so glad that it’s now part of the National Park Service.”
While Nanny Point has altered the VINP boundary on land, the park’s water boundary has not been altered in the area, Boulon added.
“This only affects the land boundary, not the marine boundary,” he said.
Selengut was happy to see the deed transfer finally completed, he explained.
“This has been a work in progress for a while,” said Selengut. “There is a lot more that going to happen out here, and it’s just great that this area is now part of VINP.”