Last week, a local non-profit dedicated to the protection of “tracts of agricultural and natural landscapes that provide significant benefits to the citizens of the Virgin Islands” received a very special gift from St. John homeowner and philanthropist, Donald Sussman. Mingo, a 50-acre cay off the northwest coast of St. John was dedicated to Trust for the Virgin Islands (TVIL) last Tuesday.
Sussman, the founder and chief investment officer of Paloma Partners, is an avid sailor and longtime champion of Virgin Islands economic development as well as the preservation of open lands. He has owned Mingo Cay since 2003.
“While other Virgin Islands continue to be developed to share that beauty with visitors from around the world, I have preserved Mingo Cay for the past 17 years and am pleased to entrust its future protection and preservation to TVIL,” said Sussman.
His hopes are, that while other Virgin Islands are being developed, under the care of TVIL Mingo Cay will be preserved as the “natural treasure” that it truly is.
“These islands are a gift for all who have had the privilege of experiencing their breathtaking vistas, spending time in and on the Caribbean Sea,and witnessing local wildlife in their natural and undisturbed habitat.”
TVIL is a community based conservation organization and their mission is in line with Mr. Sussman’s wishes for this beautiful piece of land. As an organization, they aim to preserve the lands of the Virgin Islands through support for landowners wanting to prevent development and acquisition of lands for “transfer to conservation-minded ownership.”
“Mingo has great value to the natural and historic heritage of the Virgin Islands, and its importance as an open space and a refuge will certainly grow over the coming years. I am extremely grateful that Mr. Sussman has made the generous decision to donate the cay to a Virgin Islands-based organization,” said TVIL Board member, horticulturist, and former President of the St. John Historical Society, Eleanor Gibney, according to last week’s press release from the Trust.
If you would like more information on TVIL’s mission and efforts, or would like to contribute to these very necessary efforts to preserve the land of the Virgin Islands. Please visit their website!