Tourism is the top employer and economic driver of Sint Maarten, which is an opportunity to expand sustainable tourism activities. Moving towards this goal, the EPIC Sint Maarten Foundation mapped and signed ten hiking trails and is now working to train on-island hiking guides and ecotour operators. But when coronavirus restrictions went into place around a year ago, EPIC was not able to conduct in-person trainings as planned.
Enter our “Hike Hero,” Office Manager Tanya Power-Stevens, who has powered up and down nearly all the trails using a camera to film the hikes in order to teach the classes remotely. On a recent filming excursion, Tanya noticed a large amount of litter along one of the trails and set up the March 7 Hero Hike in partnership with local adventure company Tri-Sport. Seventeen heroes, aged 6-60, turned out to hike the one-kilometer trail to Geneve Bay Beach, where they collected over 20 bags of trash, mainly plastic, netting, and rope but also a surprising number of single shoes! They then hauled the bags out to be properly disposed.
A big thank you to our partners at Tri-Sport and all the heroes who helped make a difference!