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The Windsor Estate Proposal (622 hits)

I have been advocating for our focusing on Agri-Eco Tourism, for
years, my involvement began as a board member on Farmers In
Action (FIA) 1999, when we lobbied for support and funding for the
restoration of the Estate Bethlehem Sugar Factory. Our goal was to
resurrect the sugar factory and the estate into a World-class
showcase of how things were when Sugar was King.

The Windsor Estate, a government owned Dept. of Agriculture
property is a prime location like the Bethlehem Restoration project
could serve as a centrally located Agri-Eco showcase with permanent
and rotating venues. Hiking trails on site showcasing our agricultural
history and environment would be an added attraction.

At present, I am serving as a board member on the St. Croix Hiking
Association (STXHA), and I have served, on the VI Urban Community
Forestry Council (VIUCFC), the St. Croix Environmental Association
(SEA), and I am a volunteer with the US National Park Service
(USNPS) as a hiking guide for school children. This experience has
given me a lot of insight into what I feel would be a good agricultural
and ecological tourism package to offer visitors and ourselves.

At a conference, I attended, held here fourteen (14) yrs. ago
sponsored by the Dept. of Tourism, the theme was, "The Small
Businesses and the Cruise Ship Industry," the guest speaker from
National Geographic spoke about creating a global appeal that would
attract visitors to your shores. Her messages, "Do it for yourselves,
and the World will come to enjoy it with you."

As a member of STXHA, over the past eighteen (18) yrs. to date,
Martinique has been the only major island we have not visited. Every
year we take our annual off-island tours spending ten's (10) of
thousands of dollars to hike and to explore our neighboring
Caribbean Islands. We are literally paying to walk around other
people's property.

Every year we have had a World-class agricultural fair that we could
replicate with livestock, plots of crops, permanent and rotating
educational exhibits, and hiking / biking trails with signatures. Year
after year, I have judged the educational exhibits, some of these
projects are economically sound. The winning projects should be
rotating exhibits that could be viewed during student field trips and
by visitors.

The one student project that stood out, which could have been
developed, was an amusement park with rides, with an agricultural
theme, with seats and carriages shaped like fruits and vegetables.
During that same year the metalworks vocational students were
recycling parts from old cars, lawn mowers, using fiberglass to create
go-carts. My suggestion back then was that this would be an excellent
educational and profitable collaborative effort, which could also
become an export product.

I hope that some of my comments will serve to support this effort,

Ivan Butcher II
St. Croix
US Virgin Islands
Posted By: Ivan Butcher II
Friday, February 9th 2018 at 1:13PM
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