Recently, I hiked to Caledonia Valley with a group of schoolchildren. I have not been in this forest valley of the northwest coast of St. Croix since hurricanes Irma and Maria impacted the Virgin Islands in 2017. The oldest exposed rocks on St. Croix are within Caledonia Valley, where steep walls rise in some areas to 916 feet above sea level. The forest lines the wall down to the flowing stream.

Caledonia Valley is one of three watersheds in the Virgin Islands, with flowing fresh water year-round. As I talked to the students about medicinal plants and the history of the site, the streambed we walked on appeared very dry when water should be flowing this time of year. The hairs on my body stood up and a sadness came over me. A few years ago, an organic farm was established a mile up the mountain from the waterfalls. Wells were installed to irrigate the crops.