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Friends of the V.I. National Park announces 2013 seminar series schedule

 
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

The Friends of the V.I. National Park has released the 2013 schedule for its annual seminar series, offering workshops, historic tours and boat trips for the whole family to get out to enjoy the territory's park lands and learn about the Virgin Islands' culture and history.

The 2013 seminar series begins in January and runs through April, offering many opportunities for locals and visitors alike to get a little closer to the V.I. National Park.

The Friends of the V.I. National Park is the park's official nonprofit organization and is an independent agency that helps preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park. The organization also helps to raise money for park projects.

"The seminar series is a great way to experience the park in ways you would not normally be able to," Program Manager Audrey Penn said.

The Friends' annual seminar series is a major fundraiser for the group. All of the instructors donate their time so the funds go primarily to environmental education, natural resources conservation and scientific research.

While the seminar series includes perennial favorites, such as snorkeling with sea turtles, a hike down the Reef Bay trail and a number of art and photography classes, 17 new seminars have been added to the schedule this year.

"I worked very hard to get some new folks involved and try to revamp the schedule," Penn said. "We have new venues, new spins on things, new boats and new ways to enjoy the park."

Some of the new offerings include a class to make recycled glass stepping stones, a botany and history hike through the Susannaberg ruins, hiking yoga, paddle boarding in Hurricane Hole, a colonial style pottery class and many more.

One tour will look at truly "off the grid" living on Lovango Cay. Local boat captain and solar designer Dan Boyd will take people to the small island to tour the Lovango Beach House.

The Friends' annual seminar series has been ongoing for about a decade and is the organization's major fundraising activity.

Annual membership to the Friends of the Park organization is $30 for an individual, $50 for a family and $100 for a business. Members receive a discounted registration fee for the seminars. Registration fees, which go toward maintaining the park, are tax-deductible. Children get half off the registration fees, except for boat trips.

For information or to register for any of the seminars, call 779-4940 or visit www.friendsvinp.org.

January

- Reef Fish Identification Sail, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 5: Learn how to identify fish with Park Ranger Laurel Brannick on board the Low Key. Cost is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

- Cruz Bay Historical Tour, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 6: Tour historic downtown Cruz Bay with local historian David Knight. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

- Batik Making, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 9: Learn how to batik fabric from Maho Bay textile artist Annalisa Jensen. Cost is $65 for members and $75 for non-members.

- Lameshur Bay History Walk, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 10: Randy Brown leads an interpretive hike of the Yawzi Trail to a ruined 18th century great house that ends with lunch at the V.I. Environmental Research Station. Cost is $45 for members and $55 for non-members.

- Kayak the Mangroves of Hurricane Hole, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 12: Kayak with local scientist Barry Devine and Arawak Expeditions through the Coral Reef National Monument, stopping along the way to snorkel in the mangroves and seagrass beds. Cost is $65 for members and $75 for non-members.

- Recycled Glass Flowers, noon to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 12: Maho Bay glassblowers will teach the art of blowing recycled glass. Cost is $65 for members and $75 for non-members.

- Hassel Island Tour, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 13: Kayak from Frenchtown to Hassel Island with V.I. Ecotours. Includes a hike to visit Fort Willoughby, the Garrison House, the Creque Marine Railway and Shipley Battery or Cowell Battery. Cost is $85 for members and $95 for non-members.

- Recyled Stepping Stones, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 16: Make glass and concrete stepping stones with recycled glass at Maho Bay. Cost is $65 for members and $75 for non-members.

- Happy Painting Art I, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 18: Learn wet on wet oil painting from Deniece Riehl. Cost is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

- Native Plant and Bird Hike, 9 to noon Jan. 19: Gary Ray, botanist and plant ecologist, leads a hike on the Cinnamon Bay Trail. Cost is $45 for members and $55 for non-members.

- Pastels Workshop, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 20: Learn the technique of pastels under the instruction of local artist Livy Hitchcock and create tropical landscapes at Caneel Bay. Cost is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

- Medicinal Herbs, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 23: Delroy Anthony leads an investigation into the natural benefits of native herbs found throughout the Caribbean. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

- Build Green, 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 26: Learn about green building, traditional West Indian wooden cottages, landscaping with native vegetation, solar power, net-metering, water conservation, composting, organic gardening and solar oven bread-making from Doug White. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

- Marine Biology Sail, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 27: Enjoy a guided sail aboard the Kekoa and snorkel St. John's reefs with the park's marine biologist, Jeff Miller. Cost is $95 for members and $105 for non-members.

- Brown Bay History Hike, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 30: National Park Archeologist Ken Wild leads a trip along the Brown Bay Trail to visit the earliest plantations on the island. Cost is $55 for members and $65 for non-members.

February

- Kayak, Hike and Snorkel, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 2: Take a guided kayak and snorkel excursion with V.I. Ecotours and a hike along Mary's Trail at Turtle Point. Cost is $135 for members and $145 for non-members.

- Happy Painting Art II, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 3: Learn wet on wet oil painting from Deniece Riehl. Cost is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

- Lovango Sustainable Design Tour, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 9: Dan Boyd leads a tour of true "off the grid" living on Lovango Cay. Cost is $55 for members and $65 for non-members.

- Susannaberg Botany and History Hike, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 10: Botanist Eleanor Gibney leads a hike along Susannaberg Road past historical ruins. Cost is $45 for members and $55 for non-members.

- Petroglyph Tour, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 13: National Park Archeologist leads a hike down the Reef Bay Trail to look at the ancient rock carvings known as petroglyphs. Cost is $55 for members and $65 for non-members.

- Tropical Garden Tour I, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 16: Tour four different island gardens with local gardening enthusiast Irene Patton. Cost is $45 for members and $55 for non-members.

- Birds of the Park, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 20: Tour the North Shore of St. John by safari with Park Ranger Laurel Brannick, stopping along the way to view native and seasonal birds in their natural habitat. Cost is $55 for members and $65 for non-members.

- Full Moon Drum Circle, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 25: Learn about the history of the art of drumming and the ritual drumming techniques of West African and Afro-Caribbean cultures from master drummer Eddie Bruce. Cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members.

- Pepper Sauce Making, 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 27: Learn the art of making hot pepper sauce with Trinidad Charlie. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

March

- Coastal Ecology, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 2: Circumnavigate St. John aboard the Low Key with V.I. National Park Chief of Natural Resource Management Rafe Boulon and learn about the mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. Cost is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

- Tropical Light Photography, 8 a.m. to noon March 3: Travel through the park with photographer Steve Simonsen as he teaches how to creatively capture the park's natural beauty. Cost is $45 for members and $55 for non-members.

- Historical Walking Tour, 9 to 11 a.m. March 3: Explore the historical district of downtown Charlotte Amalie with local historian Felipe Ayala Jr. Tour the 99 steps and other culturally significant areas ending in a tour of the St. Thomas Historical Trust Museum. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

- Native Arts and Crafts, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. March 6: Delroy Anthony walks participants through the collection and creation of crafts made from materials found on St. John. Learn about historical uses of the items that he continues to create in the same way they have been made for generations. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

- Sea Turtle Sail, 1 to 5 p.m. March 8: Sail the Castaway Girl II to Buck Island, St. Thomas, with the park's Natural Resource Manager Thomas Kelley, and swim with the green and hawksbill turtles. Cost is $65 for members and $75 for non-members.

- Tropical Garden Tour II, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 9: Tour four different island gardens with local gardening enthusiast Irene Patton. Cost is $45 for members and $55 for non-members.

- Scoping Out Saturn, 7:30 to 9 p.m. March 10: Join astro-mythologist Kelley Hunter and Rich Geengold on telescope for an inspiring blend of mythology and modern astrophysics under the tropical night sky. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

- Hiking Yoga, 9 a.m. to noon March 12: Hike with local yoga instructor Lori Walden along the Lind Point Trail to Honeymoon Beach for some yoga poses. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

- Ethnic Drumming, 1 to 3 p.m. March 15: Learn about the history of the art of drumming and the ritual drumming techniques of West African and Afro-Caribbean cultures from master drummer Eddie Bruce. Cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members.

- Happy Painting Art III, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 16: Learn wet on wet oil painting from Deniece Riehl. Cost is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

- Colonial Style Pottery, 6:30 to 9 p.m., March 19: Gail Van de Bogurt, local artist and owner of Maho Bay Clay Works, helps you design your own porcelain based on items found a plantation sites on St. John. Cost is $60 for members and $70 for non-members.

- Eco Spa, 2 to 4 p.m. March 20: Park Ranger Deanna Somerville gives a spa session and teaches how to make natural beauty products at the Salt Pond. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

- Tropical Garden Tour III, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 23: Tour four different island gardens with local gardening enthusiast Irene Patton. Cost is $45 for members and $55 for non-members.

- Full Moon Hike, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 26: Take a moonlit hike to the top of Ram Head while exploring the southernmost point of St. John with Park Ranger Don Near. Cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members.

- Mangrove Snorkeling, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 30: Visit Otter Creek and Water Creek in Hurricane Hole on board the Kekoa with marine ecologist Caroline Rogers. Cost is $95 for members and $105 for non-members.

April

- Paddle Board in Hurricane Hole, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 5: Paddle with local scientists Barry Devine and Arawak Expeditions through the Coral Reef National Monument, making stops to snorkel along the way. Cost is $65 for members and $75 for non-members.

- Lionfish 101, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 7: Lionfish expert Leslie Charpentier and Park Resource Manager Thomas Kelley present a slideshow about the invasive species before heading out on the Sadie Sea to snorkel, search for lionfish and see a live capture. Cost is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

- Natural Dye Batik Class, 1 to 4 p.m. April 10: Maho Bay textile artist Annalisa Jensen teaches how to make dyes and use wax to batik fabric. Cost is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

- Eco Hike and Snorkel, 9:30 a.m. to noon April 13: Explore the best of the National Park on a hike along Lind Point Trail to great snorkeling at Honeymoon Beach, ending with a walk through the botanical gardens and former sugar mill plantation at Caneel Bay. Cost is $50 for members and $60 for non-members.

- Happy Painting Art IV, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 21: Learn wet on wet oil painting from Deniece Riehl. Cost is $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

- Earth Day at Concordia, noon to 5 p.m. April 22: Celebrate Earth Day with a tour of the eco-friendly resort, ending the day with appetizers at their Cafe. Cost is $25 for members and $35 for non-members.

Quote
Topic starter Posted : December 8, 2012 1:41 pm
VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
Trusted Member

YAY!! Thank you, Alana!

ReplyQuote
Posted : December 9, 2012 5:19 pm
Boomerang
(@Boomerang)
Advanced Member

Snorkeling in the mangroves on STJ is one of my favorites, a don't miss!

ReplyQuote
Posted : December 9, 2012 7:01 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

They always have such wonderful activities during the winter season.
It's great. :@)
Hope everyone gets the chance to enjoy some of the offerings.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : December 10, 2012 3:00 pm
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