The new Superintendent of the Virgin Islands National Park is not spending his first days catching up on paperwork. Instead, Mark Hardgrove has been out and about. Improving community relations is his number one job, Hardgrove told the St. John Source. As part of his outreach effort, Hardgrove has held "open houses" at the Park’s Visitors Center in Cruz Bay and at the John’s Folly Learning Institute in Cruz Bay.
Hardgrove told the Virgin Islands Daily News that he’s aware the Park has its critics. "I don’t know that there’s tension – I know that there’s history," he said. Some of that controversy has come from Carmen Wesselhoft, the VI’s Senator At Large. She wants the Park to donate 200 acres to island residents who are unable to buy land to build moderately-priced housing.