A new observation pier will soon be built at Small Pond giving visitors a better vantage point for viewing the wildlife and marine sanctuary.
Governor John P. de Jongh entered into a formal agreement with the Audubon Society of the Virgin Islands last week, which will allow the organization to build a new pier that will extend out over the pond. The Audubon Society plans to begin work as soon as a building permit is in hand.
The area, located near Frank Bay, was designated as a bird sanctuary in March 2000. At that time, Audubon Society members began planting indigenous plants around the pond, as well as a pathway around it. Those plants flourished so much so that residents and visitors are no longer able to view the birds or the pond itself. The observation pier, which will be built off of an existing observation deck, will fix that.
When completed, the wooden walkway and pier will create a new vantage point to view the birds that inhabit the sanctuary while allowing visitors to view the full pond without disturbing any of the wildlife. In addition to the new pier, educational signs will be installed at the sanctuary.
Currently there is a family of seven Great White Egrets and at least one family of baby White Cheeked Pintail ducks among other birds that call the sanctuary home.
From Governor de Jongh:
“The great ornithologist and naturalist John James Audubon said a true conservationist knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children. The native and migratory birds that populate our islands are a part of our children’s inheritance,” the governor said in a release.
“Those birds—the Great Blue Herons, Black-necked Stilts, Spotted Sandpipers and so many other magnificent species—need refuges on these islands for rest and sustenance; the health of their population depends on sanctuaries like Frank Bay that are safe from predatory animals and unspoiled by human development.”
“This, above all else, I consider a gift to our children, who in their backyard will find a world-class outdoor classroom that no amount of technology could replace,” he said.