U. S. Virgin Islands

Our volunteers work alongside experienced Virgin Islands National Park Service trail crew on important conservation projects. The activities include trail maintenance and preservation and maintenance of internationally important cultural and natural landscapes. Come and share the privilege and passion with other like-minded volunteers. Join our group to enjoy and help this amazing paradise. Make a difference while “giving back” to this remarkable Park!

Virgin Islands Volunteer Dates

No trips currently available

Trips were cancelled after the 2017 hurricane destroyed most lodging on the island.
We are working on alternate trip plans for a February 2020 trip, so please check back.

Virgin Islands Volunteer Trip – Details

Help Virgin Islands National Park improve and maintain trails and restore fragile natural resources, while enjoying vistas of the beautiful Caribbean. No prior trail maintenance or restoration experience is required. We train you in all aspects of the work. As always, your education and safety are priorities. Tasks vary, but you should be able to hike up to three miles a day on uneven trails, move soil or rock with a shovel, pull unwanted vegetation, and carry stones. You may:

  • rehabilitate unauthorized trails
  • improve trails to better shed water
  • clip vegetation and remove rocks from the trail tread to improve trail safety
  • clear vegetation from historic structures in the backcountry of St. John to preserve the structures for future generations

The Virgin Islands National Park is a wonderful place to volunteer. Conservation Volunteers International Program, in cooperation with REI Adventures, is pleased to offer this exciting opportunity to protect a national treasure.

What follows is a general description of activities you can expect on the Virgin Islands itinerary. Please note, however, that every trip is unique. Because local conditions and the Park’s needs continually evolve, detailed plans are often finalized or revised after the group arrives and the trip leaders review the conditions at the site in light of the capabilities and special interests of the volunteers. As volunteers successfully complete conservation and restoration activities, new activities or areas can be targeted on subsequent days, which may result in a modified itinerary.

Day 1: We meet for orientation at 9 a.m. in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. We then cross the island by van to the Red Hook Ferry, where we ride the car ferry for the 25 minute crossing to the Island of St. John. Upon arrival on St. John we will continue driving through Virgin Islands National Park along the North Shore road to give you a feel of the beautiful scenery, landscapes, rich history and beaches.

After a 45 minute drive we arrive at our new home, the Virgin Islands Environmental Research Station (VIERS) for check in and lunch. After lunch we will have our first organizational and safety meeting and you will register and sign up as a National Park Service Volunteer in the Park. The remainder of the day you will be free to explore Lameshur Bay, the Reef Bay Trail or visit the Tektite Museum. Lameshur Bay is a beach and calm bay used mostly by St. Johnians. Lameshur Bay is a 5 minute walk from VIERS and a good place to swim, snorkel or just bask in the sun.

Once inside the Park, we will stay in cabins at VIERS. All cabins are shared accommodations, with a maximum of ten people per cabin. Dinner and lodging included.

Days 2 – 6: This period is a combination of project work days with a rest day where you can choose your own activities. The exact schedule depends on the project locations and the time needed to move from one location to another. We get to experience the joys and excitement of Island Travel!

We start the day with breakfast at VIERS. On volunteer project days, after breakfast at VIERS we pack a bag lunch, hike or travel by van to our project site, participate in the conservation project, then have dinner together back at VIERS. Our volunteer project days generally start when we leave camp around 8:30 a.m., returning back to camp around 4:30 p.m. to allow some beach, swim, and snorkel time before dinner. For the projects, groups of 5-6 volunteers are teamed with an experienced leader. Training in all aspects of the work is provided. We may:

  • rehabilitate unauthorized trails
  • improve trails to better shed water
  • clip vegetation and remove rocks from the trail tread to improve trail safety
  • clear vegetation from historic structures in the backcountry of St. John to preserve the structures for future generations

On the rest day, you are free to rest at VIERS or explore the area. Activities available to volunteers on rest days include hiking in the Park, enjoying a remote beach or snorkeling or scuba diving day trips offered by local dive shops. Experienced leaders will offer suggestions that will guide you to follow your dreams.

Day 7: Following breakfast, the group will journey back to St. Thomas by van, arriving at the airport in time for volunteers to catch mid-afternoon flights back to the mainland.

Note: Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions. Project locations may vary with each volunteer expedition according to the needs of park rangers at the time the expedition takes place.

$1,495 for seven days
(Note: Your trip expense may be tax-deductible. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page and consult your tax advisor for details.)

Price includes:

  • all meals from lunch on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 7
  • lodging at an eco-camp
  • all van and ferry transportation noted
  • gratuities for services provided to the group
  • project leadership and support staff
  • group tools
  • orientation and training
  • park entrance fees

Price does not include:

  • airfare to/from Charlotte Amalie
  • cost of medical immunizations
  • insurance (emergency medical and evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip and can usually be purchased through REI Adventures)
  • excess baggage charges
  • airport taxes
  • alcoholic beverages or soft drinks
  • personal items

Please click to view Trip Report PDFs.

April 2017
November 2016
November 2015
April 2015
November 2014

Also, visit the Impact Summary page and see the difference you make!


About Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands National Park was declared an International Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1976 and is one of the crown jewels of the U.S. National Park System. The remarkable landscapes in the Virgin Islands include pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. The mountains rise above the natural beauty of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean on the Islands of St. John, St. Thomas and Hassel Island. These special features, along with the beautiful bays, underwater coral gardens and rich history compose the Virgin Islands natural and cultural resources. The Virgin Islands are spectacular by any measure.

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