Learn and practice minimal-impact farming on the only all-organic farm in the US Virgin Islands. Participate in educational seminars on topics such as herbalism, sustainable land utilization and organic farming practices. Conduct a beach cleanup, construct hiking trails, and assist with other improvements to protect the natural resources, rain forests and offshore reefs of this beautiful Caribbean island.
Pollution from land-based sources is a primary cause of coral reef degradation throughout the world. In the Caribbean, for example, approximately 80 percent of ocean pollution originates from activities on land. As human populations expand in coastal areas, development alters the landscape, increasing runoff from land. Runoff often carries large quantities of sediment from land-clearing, high levels of nutrients from agricultural areas and sewage outflows, and pollutants such as petroleum products and pesticides.
These land-based sources of pollution threaten coral reef health. Founded in 2003, the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute mission is to provide a working educational farm model that integrates sustainability in education, environment, and community through quality instruction in Agroecology and related fields.
VISFI is located on the 200-acre forest campus of Creque Dam Farm. The farm is the first and only USDA certified organic farm in the US Virgin Islands, and also has achieved the Green Globe certification for sustainability beyond "best practices." Our group will travel to the Eastern Caribbean for one week to work at the Ridge to Reef Farm in a remote location in the mountain highlands of St. Croix. Ridge to Reef is the only sustainable farm in the Virgin Islands and their practices benefit the local community through educational projects, conservation of local rain forest lands and supplying organic produce to local markets. Ridge to Reefs preservation of the adjacent watershed has had a direct impact on the beach 3 miles down the mountains. Frequent beach cleanups by Ridge to Reef volunteers add the conservation effects to preserve the surrounding coral reefs of St. Croix. The trip starts in St Croix where our group will meet at the airport in Christiansted.
Please arrange your flights to arrive by 4pm Saturday afternoon. Our van will pick you up at the airport in Christiansted and transfer you to Ridge to Reef Farm for the week. The IVT van will be available during the week after daily farming duties for group trips and activities back to coastal cities of St. Croix. After project duties are completed, the final two days are open for personal recreation and to enjoy optional local adventure activities like SCUBA diving, horseback riding, sea kayaking tours, trial hiking and more.