Trunk Bay, the V.I. National Park’s iconic attraction, will join national parks around the country Saturday in observing National Public Lands Day with a fee-free day. The normal $4 entry fee will be waived.
"It’s one of the most popular beaches in the world," said park spokesman Paul Thomas.
Thomas pointed out that Trunk Bay is home to the park’s underwater trail
Park Superintendent Mark Hardgrove urged beachgoers to car pool or take a safari bus to avoid overcrowding the parking lot.
In conjunction with Saturday’s National Volunteer Day, the park will also hold a training session for people who want to serve as volunteer monitors when turtles nest on park beaches.
"Rather than clean up beaches on National Volunteer Day, we’d do something different," Thomas said.
The training runs 9 a.m. to noon at the park’s Cruz Bay visitor center. Park officials will teach volunteers how to identify turtle crawls, locate hidden nests and distinguish nesting from non-nesting events. Volunteering involves walking on the beach with data sheets in hand.
A park news release indicated that despite laws against it, sea turtles are still hunted for their shells and meat. Monitoring the nesting and success of each nest is important to the survival of sea turtles.
National Volunteer Day occurs the day before the Sunday premiere on PBS of the Ken Burn series "The National Parks: America’s Best Idea." Those who attend the volunteer training will see a preview of the six-part series.
For more information on the turtle training, call Carrie Stengel at 693-8950, ext. 240.