WHO: The Virgin Islands Trail Alliance (VITAL) and the Bank of St. Croix, along with our local and Federal partners at VITEMA and FEMA, are pleased to bring exciting news to the St. Croix community.
WHAT: In June of 2022, 13 acres in the Spring Gut Valley above Gallows Bay were acquired with help from the Bank of St. Croix for a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) which is administered locally by VITEMA. This parcel of land is adjacent to the Tulipan Welcome neighborhood and is part of the watershed which carries water into Gallows Bay, oftentimes causing the area to flood.
WHEN: The project is now in the design phase and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
WHERE: This parcel is located approximately ¼ mile up Spring Gut Road (Route 85) from the Canegata Ballpark. It is on the east side of the road and encompasses the deepest part of the gut. The 13 acres will connect to the 2-acre “Sundial Park” which is already part of the Tulipan Welcome neighborhood.
WHY: Under the HMGP program, natural stormwater mitigation features and hiking trails will be designed by the Horsley Witten Engineering Group to be constructed on the property. Once these features are complete, the property will be turned over to the Government of the Virgin Islands to be held in perpetuity as open space for the enjoyment of the people of the VI, while helping to control some of the downstream sediment runoff and flooding from the Spring Gut Watershed.
To add to future excitement, Route 85, the Spring Gut Road, is scheduled to be redone as a Federal Rural Route with an additional multi-modal pathway for hikers and bikers that will traverse the Spring Gut hill and connect the north and south shore roads. The VI Trail Alliance is working closely with the VI Dept of Public Works and their road designers to make sure that access to the newly acquired park property is safely done.
When complete, the Spring Gut Valley Park project will help mitigate downstream flooding and clarify runoff waters for the immediate neighborhood and provide additional outdoor recreational opportunities for all residents and visitors on the island of St. Croix.
This project would not be possible without the support of the Bank of St. Croix, a division of United Fidelity Bank, VITAL’s hardworking Board of Directors, and our partnerships with FEMA and the local team at VITEMA. Thank you!