01/2022 UPDATE: The VI Trail Alliance has completed the H & H study for the Spring Gut Water Shed and has shared it with collaborative agencies. We are now in contract to purchase 13 acres of undeveloped land. This land will have flood mitigation features installed to reduce flood water velocity and improve the clarity of the water that flows down to Gallows Bay and out to the sea. The land will then be deeded as public park and trail space into perpetuity.
UPDATE: This is an active project. FEMA made the formal award announcement in March 2019. At the end of July VITAL met with the VITEMA team to Kick-Off the project. The project is valued at $2,000,000 dollars. It is divided into 2 Phases with 1 million per phase. VITAL is now securing the property, contracting with Engineers and preparing for permitting needs that will address the water mitigation requirements in the phase II.
This project entails the purchase of 13 Acres of land for a Public Access Park and Conservation Area in the Spring Gut Valley. The property will be deeded to the Dept. of Agriculture. Funding has been secured through a successful application for a FEMA Flood Hazard Mitigation Grant with a budget of 2-Million dollars. The funding will purchase the properties and will correct flood water mitigation that had resulted in damage to the Seven Day Adventist School and nearby communities. Once the water mitigation is complete a pathway connection will be created joining the Spring Gut Road to the By-Pass. This site will be blended into the plans for the Spring Gut Federal Road #85 Project to ensure proper entrances, parking and pedestrian crossings. The proposed Park will be a public green space to complement the road project.
The 13 Acre land acquisition landscape design and Park advanced features will need to be funded separately from this grant application. If funding can be identified features will include: an outdoor boulder lecture hall, Open-Air Pavilion, limited mobility gardens and water feature, storytelling circle, outdoor gym exercise equipment, picnic tables, removal of invasive species, planting of native species trees, trails of various levels of difficulty connecting to Sundial Park and hillsides trails with lookouts and rest spots, entrance into the Park, instillation of a 10-blade windmill over the existing well, signage, historical information, coal making demonstration site, pedestrian bridge over the Spring Gut on the Property and instillation of a self-contained approved compost toilet unit.
This project is supported by the DPW, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Sports, Parks and Recreation, the Seven Day Adventist School, Mahogany Welcome and Tulipan Welcome Homeowners Associations and residence in the Flamboyant Welcome Community, the Dept. of Health and CDC Walkability Teams, AARP of the Virgin Islands and the Dept. of Tourism.
Brian Daley will be the on-site project manager for HW throughout the project. Daley is an ecologist with 20 years’ experience managing natural resource projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has conducted data analysis for projects using GIS and is familiar with the unique challenges of obtaining the most recent spatial data for project sites in the territory. He has also obtained federal and territorial permits from projects ranging from construction to solar power installation to sea turtle monitoring. As a 20-year resident of the territory, Daley also understands unique aspects of doing busines in the Virgin Islands.
Anne Kitchell is a project manager with 18 years’ experience in watershed restoration planning, storm water management and site design. She has worked in the USIV on stormwater, gut restoration, and watershed planning for over a decade. She will oversee watershed modeling and site design for the project as well as facilitate meetings between HW and VITAL.
Renee Bordeau is a professionally licensed civil and environmental engineer with over a decade’s experience in watershed planning, modeling and design of stormwater controls. She recently conducted watershed H&H modeling for Cane Garden Bay on Tortola, BVI as part of a watershed and shoreline stabilization project. She will be actively involved in the site assessments and will lead the work in the hydrologic and hydraulic study.
Geoff Glover is a civil and environmental engineer with a specialty in site design, drainage systems and hydrologic / hydraulic modeling. He leads HW’s on-call permit review services for DPNR on stormwater projects, conducted watershed assessments on St. Thomas, and worked on engineering design and modeling for a gut headcut stabilization project on east end of St. Croix. He will have an active role in site evaluation design and engineer the stormwater practices in a collaborative process with the mountain bike trail designer.
Steve Kasacek Trail Solutions Project Manager of the International Mountain Bicycling Association will lead the mountain bike trail design process. He has extensive experience designing, planning and developing mountain bike trail projects from concept to construction. He has a background as a civil engineer with a specialty in stormwater management. The IMBA is the international leader in sustainable trail creation, with experience on more than 400 trails. Their experts specialize in creating trails while simultaneously minimizing environmental impacts. Steve previously worked as Horsley Witten, which will facilitate the collaborative development of the stormwater practices and the bike trails simultaneously. He will participate in the site evaluation and trail design from the earliest stages of the project.