The Virgin Islands Trail Alliance is working to build multi-use pathways, primitive trails and parks across St. Croix and the Territory. This work is being done with community collaboration with government, local leaders and residents. A concept plan has been designed and work is being done. We at VITAL see the value of looking beyond the pathway surfaces and are working with a comprehensive focus, to meet the needs of all users regardless of their income, age or ability.
VITAL applied for a smaller grant opportunity with the vision of a project that would be visible, draw multiple community partners, while addressing a segment need of the greater concept plan and provide an opportunity to prepare the community for changes that will occur due to the investment in pedestrian supported infrastructure for the Territory. This vision will create safe walking/ biking routes that supports active lifestyles and improves quality of life while building community.
The AARP Livable Communities Grant has been awarded to VITAL. The funding of $22,500 will be used to create the first bike lanes in the Territory over the Christiansted Bypass, to include the beautification of the look-out site with the addition of benches & bike racks, replacement of flags and a change in plant selection. In effect we will be creating a “complete street” that will be valuable for the introduction of the AARP Complete Streets Legislation, that when passed, will direct planners to include pedestrian infrastructure on all road designs and repairs.
In addition to the work on the Christiansted Bypass to encourage and promote active lifestyles while keeping all users safe, VITAL also included the creation of a “Story Telling Circle” or “Wisdom Circle” under the Tamarind Tree next to the Canegata Recreational Building. This site is underutilized and can support the communities need for safe, clean and enhanced communal areas. Encouraging all ages to come together, to reignite the sharing of history through social engagement and storytelling.
On August 8th, 2019, the Assistant Commissioner, Renee Hansen, VITAL members, Alma Winkfield VP and Barbara Walsh Sec./Tres., along with several members of “My Brothers Workshop”, Derrick Venzen, Eddie Martinez and several of their apprentice students gathered under the Tamarind Tree. A plan was created, and tasks were delegated. This project is active and will be completed by Nov. 1st. Other major partners include the DPW through the continued support of Commissioner, Mr. Petty, the Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Brow and Piotr Gajewski Design Engineer. The Cycle Federation, AARP of the VI and the Walkability Institute support this initiative.