More Restoration Work Completed at Francis

The Batten family enjoys the new bird deck. Image credit: Friends of the Park

The Batten family enjoys the new bird deck. Image credit: Friends of the Park

We have good news to share with you all today. The bird walk at Francis Bay is finally complete. Now you can check out some of the island’s feathered friends wile walking along the boardwalk at Francis. Here is the scoop directly from Friends of Virgin Islands National park:

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is pleased to announce the completion of the Francis Bay Boardwalk Observation Deck, replacing one which had been destroyed during Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Virgin Islands National Park suffered significant damages from these storms, particularly Irma. There was significant damage to park residences, facilities and venues including the Francis Bay Boardwalk and its Observation Deck. In 2018, the Friends directed dozens of volunteers to rebuild the boardwalk along with a generous donation made by the Virgin Islands Audubon Society of St. John. High water in the adjoining marsh prevented the rebuilding of a popular bird observation deck until last month. Now, visitors to the Francis Bay Boardwalk can rest and view wildlife from the deck. Early most Friday mornings, National Park Service Interpretive Ranger, Laurel Brannick leads a bird watching trip in Francis Bay that will utilize the observation deck.

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park President, Todd Sampsell, visited the boardwalk this past weekend and talked to a local family enjoying the observation deck. “Children were watching crabs dart around the base of the deck while mom and dad enjoyed a rest during their afternoon walk.”

Part of the mission of the Friends is to help connect locals and visitors to Virgin Islands National Park. “It’s great to see children enjoying nature because it will help ensure they grow up with a sense of its importance to all of our lives and an interest in helping protect it,” added Sampsell.

The Friends would like to thank Bigrigg Cranford Construction Company for donating much of the construction labor. This project was funded by the hundreds of individuals who donated to help restore our park after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. We thank you! For more information on getting involved with the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, please visit www.friendsvinp.org.

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