Press Release

Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour
Release Date:
Tuesday, 1 December 2020 - 12:42pm

The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI) is seeking the public’s support in its plant sale at the J.R. O’Neal Botanical Gardens.

Various plants including Crown of Thorns, the Panama Rose, Ginger Lilies Hibiscus shrub and Frangipanis went on sale from November 30.

Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent Wheatley said hurricanes Irma and Maria inflicted a significant damage to the Territory’s landscapes which are slowly and steadfastly recovering on a natural basis.

Honourable Wheatley said, “We must do our part to replant trees to accelerate this recovery. We recognise the importance of trees to our biodiversity, our health and well-being. Replanting indigenous and other types of trees is a longstanding practice rooted in the days when the late Joseph R. O’Neal, the first Chairman of the National Parks Trust would travel to various schools promoting the practice.”

Honourable Wheatley stated the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the practice of congregating around schools to witness replanting exercises, but that this cannot and has not dampened our resolve to continue our efforts.

He added, “By necessity, our replanting ceremony will be smaller in nature – and we will see targeted plantings being undertaken by various individuals and groups. We have also seen how our community has come together to rehabilitate areas where mangroves were traditionally found. We will continue these efforts to replant trees on land and in coastal locations.”

Arbour Day is said to be a day of rebirth and rejuvenation as seedlings are planted along schools, homes and businesses, a tradition that was initiated by the late J.R. O’Neal OBE. This tradition has grown over the years to include community partners and other Non-Governmental Organisations.

The plant sale catalog with plant descriptions and prices can be found by visiting the NPTVI’s Facebook page at

The NPTVI was established in 1961 by the Government of the Virgin Islands as the agency responsible for the Territory’s parks. The trust is mandated under the National Parks Act of 2006 with preserving the Territory’s valuable natural resources while managing 21 national parks throughout the British Virgin Islands.



Link to Minister Wheatley’s Statement:

Photo 1: NPTVI Logo

Photo 2: Official Photo of Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent Wheatley

 (Photo credit: GIS)


Paul Bridgewater

Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations