Sep 4, 2018

Amuseum Naturalis Opens!

Students visit the Amuseum.
Students visit the Amuseum.

This summer has been amazing at Amuseum Naturalis! It has been busy and beautiful and we’ve accomplished great things thanks to your support. Most importantly, we’ve opened the first phase of the museum and we’re already serving the community. We’re excited to share some highlights from the last few months.

We opened Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in July. We have been open five days a week ever since, and over 1,000 people have come to learn and have fun. We’ve already hosted almost 500 students from school classes and summer camps. We’ve had great visits with kids of many ages and we have developed our own activities to help them interact with the museum exhibits. The school year has only just begun and we anticipate many more classes will visit this fall.

We’ve put in well over 1,000 hours of volunteer work this summer. We continue to have fun and rewarding volunteer days every week or two. We also had the help of scouts from France who came to the island to help the recovery process. We were lucky that many chose to work on our project over the course of three weeks. See the links below for a short video we made with the scouts.

We’ve transformed the space…again! It is almost unbelievable how much has changed since we started this project. Today we have an exhibit hall with eight exhibits and a nature trail in the back yard with viewpoints looking out over French Quarter and Orient Bay. Our bush tea garden and native plants nursery are well underway. We have a trail leading from the Amuseum down to the sea, and a beautiful campfire area.

We still have plenty of work to do. Right now we are finalizing signage about the native plants and trees growing here and the history of this site. Still to come are panels telling other stories: the traditions of bush tea and bush medicine, the history of salt production, traditional agriculture, rebellion and resistance against slavery, and much more. We also continue to work on the restoration of The Old House itself.

Right now we are delighted to be open to the public. With over 1,000 visitors in just over a month during the quietest time of year, we know we’re on the right track. People are learning about St. Martin and sharing their own stories. Parents are exploring with their children, and residents bring plants they love to be part of our gardens.

None of this could happen without your support! Your donations have purchased exhibit panels, paint and construction materials, tools and work gloves, bird seed for our feeders, food for volunteers, storage bins for historical artifacts, printing of activities for kids and water deliveries for the bathroom. Thank you for your help! We also welcome you to donate again as we continue to develop this amazing place.

Summer camp visit.
Summer camp visit.
Students learn about The Old House.
Students learn about The Old House.
Sharing history at our open house event.
Sharing history at our open house event.
Planting seeds with a school group.
Planting seeds with a school group.
Lunch with scouts and volunteers.
Lunch with scouts and volunteers.

Links:

Jun 7, 2018

Big Progress at Amuseum Naturalis!

Volunteers have been working every weekend.
Volunteers have been working every weekend.

Over the last few months, we've made an amazing amount of progress at Amuseum Naturalis thanks to your support! Abandoned and overgrown when we started, the new site has become beautiful and welcoming. We started both our community gardens and our native plants nursery on site. We were even able to host our Endemic Animal Festival on the site for close to 300 guests. 

Over the past few months, we have worked with volunteers every weekend to clean and prepare our new home. Over 100 volunteers have participated, many coming week after week. Your contributions have provided the tools and supplies necessary to make this happen. 

As we head into the summer, we are having The Old House building itself professionally assessed and we will be making the necessary repairs so we can install the museum. Thank you for your support and we look forward to sharing new developments as the project moves forward and we buid a museum for St. Martin together!

The Old House emptied for repairs.
The Old House emptied for repairs.
Museum for a day-the Endemic Animal Festival.
Museum for a day-the Endemic Animal Festival.
The Amuseum from above.
The Amuseum from above.
We've cleared a path to the a sea view.
We've cleared a path to the a sea view.
Volunteers at the Endemic Animal Festival.
Volunteers at the Endemic Animal Festival.

Links:

 
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