Flamboyant tree at Estate Little Princess, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands | A flamboyant tree and historic ruins at Estate Little Princess in St. Croix © Kemit-Amon Lewis/TNC

Places We Protect

Estate Little Princess

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

The Heart of Our Work in the Virgin Islands

Steeped in history and rich in natural beauty, Estate Little Princess represents the heart of all we do in the Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean. Working to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends, we see the bright future we strive to create reflected throughout Little Princess and other special corners of the Caribbean that keep us inspired.

Estate Little Princess is a unique property steeped in history and rich in the exquisite natural beauty for which the Virgin Islands are known. Established as a sugar plantation in the 1730s, Little Princess was gifted to The Nature Conservancy in 1991 to be used in perpetuity for the furtherance of conservation, cultural and educational activities. The Estate has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as many of the original buildings still stand on the land and serve as beautiful echoes of traditional 1700s Danish architecture.

 

The Estate Today

Today, walking trails on the property wind through an array of ruins, lush plant life and wildflowers, with a path leading to a serene stretch of beach. TNC has re-vegetated the land with endemic plant and tree species to provide habitat for wildlife and consistent seed sources to foster diverse plant life and healthy ecosystems throughout the surrounding areas.

We host community educational events at the Great House and strive to engage the next generation in conservation through internships and volunteer activities. High school students from the TNC’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program have taken part in internships at Little Princess to learn about our work.

 

Moving Forward, Growing Stronger After Hurricanes

In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria tore through the Caribbean, causing mass destruction across many islands, including the Virgin Islands. Estate Little Princess suffered severe damage, and TNC is in the process of restoring and renovating the buildings and landscape, ensuring the preserve will continue to be a source of conservation education and inspiration for Virgin Islanders and visitors from around the world.

As part of this commitment to moving forward, TNC is establishing Little Princess as one of its Coral Innovation Hubs. In this vital role, the preserve will serve as an incubator for innovative approaches to coral conservation and disseminate today’s coral science and technology by convening a global network of conservation practitioners, partner organizations, stakeholders and educators.