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May 29, 2019

Amuseum Naturalis Comes Alive!

A youth group visits the Amuseum.
A youth group visits the Amuseum.

Thanks to your support, Amuseum Naturalis gets more awesome every day. Over the past few months, we’ve developed new exhibits and started new projects. More importantly, we’ve shared the magic of St. Martin with many people of all ages.

We finished our outdoor signage project, which was financed with funds from France and funds from you. We added over 60 new signs telling stories about plants and animals, history, agriculture, bush medicine, architecture and more. This transforms the entire space around the buildings into a place to learn new things about St. Martin.

We launched Soualibra, a research library focused on St. Martin. After all public libraries on the island closed, we knew we needed to help fill in the gap they left. By focusing on St. Martin, Soualibra is valuable today and will still offer something special when regular libraries reopen.

We had fantastic events at the Amuseum where people came together to learn and share. Our Endemic Animal Festival and International Museum Day events were amazing. They were also events where guests could come to learn, but also share their knowledge and stories about the island. By recording oral histories, we can help preserve and share this cultural information.

We look forward to continuing this amazing project! Your support has helped make sure we have the resources we need to support our amazing volunteers. Your donations have also provided the matching funds that we needed to get grant funding for projects. This has made a huge difference in the experience we can offer at the Amuseum.

We are grateful for your help and we welcome your continued support. As always, we hope you can come for a visit in person! If not, please visit us online or on social media to see some of the magic that you have helped put into the world!

The team at one of our monthly volunteer days.
The team at one of our monthly volunteer days.
Hurricane Protocol, a poetry exhibit.
Hurricane Protocol, a poetry exhibit.
Student volunteers teach kids about plants.
Student volunteers teach kids about plants.
Our outdoor signage project is complete.
Our outdoor signage project is complete.

Links:

Feb 26, 2019

Amuseum Naturalis: Growing and Giving!

Sharing what makes St. Martin special.
Sharing what makes St. Martin special.

It has been just over a year since we first came to a hurricane-ravaged site and imagined it could be a museum. With your help, this amazing place has been transformed. It's now an important resource for the community, and it just gets better every day.

In 2018, over 200 volunteers spent over 4,000 hours creating a museum and doing amazing stuff there! The total value of volunteer time donated to our association in 2018 was almost $100,000. The Amuseum welcomed over 3,000 visitors, and over 1,200 students who came with school classes and youth groups. Your support has made all of that possible.

At the end of 2018, we received our first project grant. This funded an outdoor signage project. We have added dozens of signs telling the stories of native plants and animals, traditional agriculture and a variety of other topics. We also collaborated with a group called Waste2Work to make awesome things from reclaimed materials: for example, signage mounts for our traditional agriculture signs are also planters where we grow the plants featured on the signs.

We also launched a free plant stand to distribute native plants and trees, as well as some heritage plants like those used in bush teas (local traditional medicine). People can pick up free plants to make their backyards more wildlife-friendly.

We continue to host school and group visits and we recently had our first cultural campfire, complete with music and a poetry reading.

We will keep expanding and improving the Amuseum in 2019. We are working to diversify our funding and applying for grants to help us implement new projects there. Since that is a slow process, donations on site and online are still crucial to keeping us going. We welcome your continued support!

Thank you, and we hope you are able to visit the Amuseum in person. If not, we invite you to follow along on the web or on social media.

Signage mount planters from reclaimed materials.
Signage mount planters from reclaimed materials.
Free plant stand for wildlife-friendly backyards.
Free plant stand for wildlife-friendly backyards.
New outdoor exhibits add value in open spaces.
New outdoor exhibits add value in open spaces.
Cultural campfire poetry reading by Big Ray.
Cultural campfire poetry reading by Big Ray.
Still going strong with volunteers!
Still going strong with volunteers!

Links:

Nov 30, 2018

Amuseum Naturalis: It's alive!

Students explore the Amuseum on a class visit.
Students explore the Amuseum on a class visit.

The fantastic fall season at Amuseum Naturalis has flown by, and it was all made possible by your support! Since our last update, the Amuseum has welcomed visitors of all ages and we continue to make additions and improvements to the site. Below are some highlights.

The 2018 Migratory Bird Festival was held at the Amuseum and it was a fantastic time. There were loads of fun activities. Kids and adults did birdwatching and learned bird calls, decorated bird-themed reusable tote bags and investigated the aquatic critters that many birds eat.

We hosted four free teacher training sessions for BirdSleuth Caribbean, an innovative program that teaches science and discovery through birds. In addition to training teachers so they can use the program in their classes, we offer BirdSleuth activities, like the Habitat Scavenger Hunt, to groups visiting the Amuseum.

We have received 2500 guests including about 1000 kids making school or group visits. We are a regular stop for tours focused on nature and heritage. We continue to make great connections with the local community when they visit and share their knowledge with us online or in person.

What’s next? We continue to work on the site with our wonderful volunteers. We are also applying for grants to help us tackle some of the biggest work, like repairing The Old House building itself, but this is a long process. We just received our first grant, which will fund outdoor educational signage on over a dozen topics.

Your help is crucial to what we are doing! It funds our work while grant applications slowly work their way towards approval. For some grants, we also need to contribute a portion of the project budget from our own funds. Since our current grant funding is just for the signage project, your support is what is keeping us going right now. Thank you!

We hope you are able to visit the Amuseum in person. If not, we encourage you to follow along on the web or on social media.

Students learn about birds at the Amuseum.
Students learn about birds at the Amuseum.
Enjoying a viewpoint during BirdSleuth activity.
Enjoying a viewpoint during BirdSleuth activity.
Interacting with students at the Amuseum.
Interacting with students at the Amuseum.
Discovering aquatic life.
Discovering aquatic life.
The 2018 Migratory Bird Festival.
The 2018 Migratory Bird Festival.
Comparing wingspans at Migratory Bird Festival.
Comparing wingspans at Migratory Bird Festival.
Showing off bird totes.
Showing off bird totes.
BirdSleuth Caribbean teacher training.
BirdSleuth Caribbean teacher training.
BirdSleuth Caribbean teacher training class.
BirdSleuth Caribbean teacher training class.

Links:

 
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