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YOUNG PEOPLE LEND A HELPING HAND TO PARK

May 12, 2001 — Bright and early Saturday morning 45 young people invaded Lind Point Trail and Salomon Beach on St. John's north shore picking up trash, bottles, and plastics at the invitation of the V.I. National Park as part of its Keep America Beautiful/Great American Cleanup Program.
"Superintendent John King called us last week and asked us to participate. And we were more than glad to contribute to this worthwhile project," said Teisha Brown, an associate advisor with the U.S. Customs Explorers, one of the participating groups.
Thirty teenagers from the St. Thomas-based group with four advisors participated in the three-hour cleanup that began at 9 a.m. It ended with three full bags of litter, plastic bottles, discarded clothing, and aluminum cans along Lind Point Trail and on Salomon Beach adjacent to Caneel Bay Plantation.
"I'm from Anguilla, this is my first time on St. John and its rewarding work to see the trail and beach cleaned," said Mavell Gumbs, a teenage member of the Explorers. "It's fun and I don’t mind doing it," added Gumbs’ cousin, Clarence.
According Explorer Advisor Gloria Lambert, the Explorers are from Post 1501 on St. Thomas, where they cleaned up Magens Bay last March.
"On a whole they did a good job, and more importantly worked as a team," Lambert said.
Explorer Krystal Isacc, said she saw the experience as "something positive to do as teenagers."
"It also is a good feeling to let the tourists know we care about how we keep our islands clean," added Chamika Allen.
Along with the Explorers 10 youngsters from St. John's Cub Scout Pack 10 took part in the cleanup. The pack also hits Cruz Bay for Saturday clean-ups, said Aubrey Bridgewater, the pack leader.
"The young people like the idea of being outdoors and doing something positive for their community," Bridgewater said.
In addition to the immediate trail and beach area the participants ventured into the bush searching out debris.
Meanwhile, to assist the National Park with a comprehensive environmental program, Friends of the National Park have provided funding for the temporary assignment of a specialist, Shannon Swan.
"She has tremendous experience in recycling and beautification cleanup projects for the Park Service nationwide," said V.I. National Park Superintendent John King. "She was responsible for implementing today's project and she will be on duty assignment here for a year to help us develop a comprehensive recycling program."
Once the litter from Saturday’s clean-up is collected it will be separated, inventoried, and items that can be recycled will, said Elmo Rabsatt, V.I. National Park’s maintenance chief.
Rabsatt, who helped organize the cleanup said, "I can always call on Mr. Varlack at Transportation Services, Caneel Bay, or Ms. Lambert from Customs and they come through."
Varlack Ventures supplied free ground and ferry transportation for those coming from St. Thomas. Caneel Bay Plantation provided lunch for all participants, and the Friends of the V.I. National Park gave away tee-shirts.
Following the cleanup their was a group lunch on Honeymoon beach, known as a popular nudist beach. But there were no nudists enjoying the beach on Saturday, apparently because King has vowed to enforce Virgin Islands law that forbids nude bathing on public beaches.

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