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St. George Village Botanical Garden Seeks Volunteers to Get Ready for Mango Melee

The many volunteers who worked to make Mango Melee 2023 a success stand on the steps of the Bodine Visitors Center during a volunteer appreciation event hosted by SGVBG. (Photo courtesy St. George Village Botanical Garden)

Mango Melee is scheduled for Sunday, July 7. This is the major yearly fundraising event for the St. George Village Botanical Garden (SGVBG). Recent heavy rains have caused overgrowth of vegetation throughout the garden. Volunteers are badly needed to get the grounds ready.

“Volunteers are truly the lifeblood of the garden, and without them, it would be very difficult. They bring incredible value to the organization,” Executive Director Sarah Brady said.

Sarah Brady, Garden executive director, waters plants in the garden’s nursery. (Photo courtesy St. George Village Botanical Garden)

The next group volunteer days will take place on Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to noon. The focus on these days will be preparing the grounds for the 28th annual Mango Melee event. Participants for these two days and for Mango Melee itself should email info@thegardenstcroix.org to sign up.

Mini Gusto students from Good Hope Country Day School take a day to volunteer to cut brush at the St. George Village Botanical Garden. (Photo courtesy St. George Village Botanical Garden)


Volunteer coordinator Mary Ann Mahoney, a volunteer herself, is always looking for people to assist with garden events throughout the year, including Mango Melee and Christmas Spoken Here. She said, “This has been a great opportunity for me to be more active in the St. Croix community and helping the garden identify people who are able to assist in various aspects of the day-to-day operations and their fundraising with community events.”

Mary Aldrich (left) and Mary Ann Mahoney (right) work in the garden’s nursery, where plants are raised for use in the garden and for sale to the public. (Photo courtesy St. George Village Botanical Garden)

“Regular clean-up, maintenance, and beautification of the grounds is done with the help of consistent volunteer commitment. Being part of the Island Networks cruise ship tour schedule, the Garden has a local group of volunteers that assist with giving guided tours on cruise ship days as well as on case-by-case appointments,” Brady said.

Volunteers at the April 2024 nursery clean-up gather for a group shot. (Photo courtesy St. George Village Botanical Garden)

SGVBG, founded in 1972, is a non-profit organization on 16 lush acres planted with over 1,000 Caribbean and pan-tropical plants and trees. Ruins and repurposed buildings of an 18th-century Danish colonial sugarcane plantation provide historical context. The garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., except on Christmas. It operates with a small staff and relies heavily on volunteers, school groups, and the public to support and enhance the garden, its structures, and community activities


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