You can make a difference! MVP students are being taught both duty and self-importance. On going projects are chosen to prove that much like the planting of seeds, by coming up with ideas for community improvement, one might make a difference.

Develop Scenic 'Tourist' Drive

Idea: Create a Southside Tourism Route! To help maintain our tourism product, it's suggested that we develop a preferred conduit from the WICO docks to Red Hook. The purpose is to transport our airline and cruiseship visitors on a scenic route to their eastern destinations, without exposing them to the busy, less attractive commercial areas of the island. Let's try to view the sights of America's Paradise through the eyes of our visitors - remembering that first impressions are often the lasting ones!

Traveling to the east end of the island with the views of box stores, gas stations, tire repair shops and open garbage bins is not what is expected. More desired would be the scenic views of the ocean and beautiful flowering trees. Travel to the eastern end of St. Thomas should be a pleasant ride that makes one feel they've chosen the correctly promoted destination, not one that in hindsight, was over developed and too busy to see itself through the eyes of its visitors.

The solution is easy to implement. Develop a tourist route that even we who live here would prefer on a Sunday drive! Do this first by upgrading the Southside road. Pave it and paint the yellow and white stripes so that drivers can safely travel (day or night) between the east end and town. Plant flowering trees and routinely groom and water them on a year-round basis. Simply direct our visitors away from the commercial routes of the island. Believe it or not, the ride up and down Donkey Hill on the back of a safari bus is fun - much like an exciting ride in an amusement park! Plant Flamboyant trees the whole distance - turning the colorful drive into a tourist attraction during blooming season. Hide the trash bins behind mural walls and allow the winning art students to compete for prizes awarded by our hotel, airline and cruiseship partners.

The development of this scenic drive would benefit all residents, regardless of any lack of understanding of the economic benefits. There is an urgent need to halt the deterioration of our tourism product.