Conservationist Funding 11.8 Acre Expansion of VI National Park

View of Maho Bay - Not view from newly purchased property
View of Maho Bay – Not view from newly purchased property

Now this makes me happy…

Conservationist Jon Stryker, the man who in late 2012 purchased the 13.8 acre parcel that used to house Maho Bay Camps, just did another amazing thing for our little island … He donated $1.275 million which will fund the purchase of an 11.8 acre property that will be donated to the Virgin Islands National Park. Kudos to you Mr. Stryker.

Here are the official details straight from the Friends of the VI National Park:

“A significant, historic and beautiful piece of land has been added to the Virgin Islands National Park (Monday) thanks to Mr. Stryker’s generosity and vision,” said Joe Kessler, president of Friends of Virgin Islands National Park. “More than 500,000 visitors each year and generations to come will benefit from the preservation of this site.”

“The beauty and remarkable bio diversity of Virgin Islands National Park are American treasures,” said Mr. Stryker. “I’m honored to make this gift, protect this land and guarantee its stewardship in perpetuity.”

“Virgin Islands National Park, created by donations of land and other methods of philanthropy, is dependent on the generosity of people like Jon Stryker who have fallen in love with St. John and work with Friends of Virgin Islands National Park to preserve the park,” said Virgin Islands National Park Superintendent Jayne Schaffer. “Donations such as this 11.8 acres will protect the land and its resources forever, helping to keep St. John beautiful.”

The newly acquired property is located on the North Shore. It’s bounded by the National Park and includes the Old Stone Bridge and the historic ruins of the Estate Fredricksdal. The property has views of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Mary’s Point and St. Thomas. According to Joe Kessler, the process of conveying it to the National Park will take roughly six months.

Parcel 1 Maho Bay
Maho Bay to the left; Leinster Bay above

This announcement marks the first time that Mr. Stryker publicly confirmed his involvement with the Maho Bay Camps property. The transaction was a closely guarded secret when it first occurred. Click here to read a little more about that. 

And here’s a quick update on the Maho Bay Camps property from the Friends of the VI National Park:

In addition to this gift, Mr. Stryker is conducting a comprehensive restoration of his property at Little Maho Bay to return it to its natural state and increase the health and biodiversity of the terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Local St. John ecologist, Dr. Gary Ray, is the conservation director for the project.

The world needs more people like Mr. Stryker.

23 thoughts on “Conservationist Funding 11.8 Acre Expansion of VI National Park”

  1. As much as I miss staying at the campgrounds, I am grateful to Mr. Stryker for buying the property. His care and concern for the land is admirable. Thank you Sir, for keeping St. John a little more green. 😀

  2. Thank you Mr. Stryker! I also think the Marsh family heirs, who sold the property, should be recognized for their commitment to preserving Maho bay estate for the public.

  3. to be clear, the property is the one highlighted in yellow? I don’t think he is donating the maho bay camp lands or the waterfront property to the NP…

  4. What about conservation efforts for affordable shelter/accommodations for middle class families consisting of innocent children whom use to vacation on Saint John? The Maho bay campgrounds were taken away from them.

    Is this a consolation prize for the eyesore home in Dennis bay?

    Alot of kids were introduced to the natural love of St John from there middle class “salt of the earth” parents whom scrapped their savings together for a much needed family oasis vacation. Somebody should recognize their needs now and stop pushing them out by speaking up.

    • Hi! I too used to stay at Maho Bay and was saddened to hear about the dissolving of the eco tents but I also found that Concordia Eco Resort on Salt Pond is available for vacations. They have Eco tents as well as higher level accommodations. Try them. They are great!!

  5. Did you not know? Concordia has been bought out is closing and being torn down for a swanky boutique hotel. So that leaves just 1 option left. Cinnamon bay as the only option which there will soon be a long waiting list for families (Dad mom and kids) to stay and rough it in a “tent”. Tsk tsk tsk.

    Middle class family accommodation conservation efforts must be made a 1st priority + thats a start for making our island great again by putting regular people 1st.

  6. Some people find negativity even out of generosity. Anyone who works or pays to preserve or expand the national park should be recognised. Mr Stryker is both generous and forward thinking.
    Whether St John needs cheaper accommodation alternatives is a different debate.
    Can we just rejoice in the fact that there are generous people who are helping to preserve a pristine landscape?

  7. Change is constant and we should become accustom to it. However, the attempt to upscale cinnemon bay campground is overkill. Current site plan designates only 12 bare camp sites. Last year there were approximately 40 bare sites

  8. This is amazing news! I was heartbroken when my beloved Maho Bay eco-Resort closed and devastated it might be ruined by development. Thank you, Mr Stryker, for your generosity in saving this amazing piece of the island. There’s a special place in the hereafter for you.

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