Christopher Fordham is a man on a mission to benefit the community and travelers.
With the recent bridge construction on the I15 in Desert Springs, a long-loved and growing popular summer spot has not only been shut off to the public but destroyed.
The spot that is referred to as Little Jamaica on the Virgin River was once a semi-private oasis for many locals in the Arizona Strip communities. There are natural springs, waterfalls, lush foliage, and sweet pools of cool river water to help combat the highest of the Mohave’s intense summer temperatures.
As all good and bad things do, the word about Little Jamaica spread through the social media channels and was soon overtaken by tourists and subsequently trash.
What was once a beautiful, natural recreation area soon became a nuisance and eyesore to neighbors, landowners, and nature.
Fordham wants to reverse the damage and he’s looking for your help.
Fordham and friends formed The Foundation for the Preservation of Little Jamaica. (FPLJ) The FPLJ is a non-profit organization whose mission is to clean the springs and restore the waterfalls and pools along the Virgin River. He is asking for any help he can get in reclaiming and restoring Little Jamaica.
Along with the non-profit, Fordham has staked mining claims along the river and owns 5 acres of land just beyond the LDS Church in Littlefield and across the river. His mining claims give him direct access to the claim as well as rights of security. Fordham says once the project is going, he doesn’t mind scrutinizing the visitors and will definitely make sure that trash barrels are plentiful.
His project is extensive. Many of the natural springs are grown over or had been diverted for irrigation. He doesn’t want to upset anyone, neighbors, community members or farmers so he’s just borrowing back a little to reestablish at least one waterfall so far. According to Fordham, there are plenty of springs to work with.
He plans on eventually putting in a real recreation area with river rafting, fishing, and camping…tents only. He has a small sluice now and will expand it for the kids to pan for minerals if they want.
Because of past landowners, land changing hands, bridge construction, and Old Valley views, there has been some trouble with access roads to his property and Little Jamaica but he is quickly working all that out. His neighbor, Dave Bundy has been a tremendous help in grating an access road for his property and Fordham’s far out of the way of any existing roads used by other property owners or developers in the area.
There are grapevines galore in the area and Fordham plans on utilizing those as well. He has ideas of small bus stop-sized arbors with benches for just sitting in the shade and soaking up the beauty God created in the Valley and along the river.
It is a magical place that deserves a second chance at life beyond the bridgework and sullied reputation. If you are interested in helping to restore Little Jamaica contact Chris Fordham at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 928-315-0319. You can see what he’s doing by following him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littlejamaicafound/
This could turn out to be a great little camping trip for a good cause. Don’t like camping? Spend days creating a place your kids and grandkids can enjoy on hot summer days. A place surrounded by nature, not concrete. A place where you most likely grew up enjoying.
Neighbors who think it is a nuisance…help him make sure it isn’t anymore. Don’t want to get your hands dirty? He would welcome all donations to help buy equipment, trash barrels, and other materials.
All photos by Teri Nehrenz