The building that housed St. Martin's first natural history museum was destroyed, but we're creating a new one! Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House will be a museum for local nature and heritage, and a space for community projects. During the first half of 2018, we will be repairing the buildings in our new location, cataloging our historical collection, preparing our exhibits and launching community projects like our native plants nursery which will distribute native tree seedlings for free.
There is almost no access to education about local wildlife, history and culture on St. Martin. Most school curriculum is French, Dutch or North American. There is no museum on the French side of the island. After the devastation of Hurricane Irma, the island is in need of educational experiences more than ever. The school system is under stress, many school buildings were damaged, and many teachers left.
Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House is a free museum focused entirely on local nature, history, culture and art. It is a place where the stories of St. Martin will be told for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. It will be a valuable resource for schools, youth groups, and the entire local community. Community involvement in the cataloging of collections and development of new exhibits can also provide hands-on learning for students.
Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House will change attitudes about nature and heritage on the island, creating interest in environmental protection, cultural preservation and sustainable development. It will open the doorway to the study of science and history for local youth, and will provide an alternative path for the island's primary industry, tourism.