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HomeNewsLocal newsSign Up Soon for Friends of Park Seminar Series

Sign Up Soon for Friends of Park Seminar Series

The Friends of V.I. National Park’s annual Seminar Series often fills fast, so it’s not too soon to sign up.

“It’s a great way to support the park,” Friends program manager Karen Jarvis said.

The Friends main goal is to help support park activities.

Jarvis said the seminars offer education and fun and provide good value.

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Friends members get a discount on the fee.

To sign up, call the Friends at 779-4940.

The series kicks off Jan. 9 with a Full Moon Hike up Ram Head with park ranger Corrine Fenner from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Learn about the area’s natural and cultural history. Meet at the Salt Pond parking lot with a snack, water and flashlight or headlamp. Wear hiking shoes. The fee is $40.

Jan. 10. Maho/Whistling Cay Kayak and Snorkel Adventure with Hidden Reef Tours runs from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. A guide will help you discover an area commonly observed from a distance but rarely from up close. The trip is for intermediate and advanced snorkelers and kayakers. Meet at the Maho Bay parking lot with lunch, water, towel, hat, sunscreen and camera. Wear a swimsuit. The fee is $65.

Jan. 10. Pastels with Livy Hitchcock runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Learn the technique of pastels as you create tropical landscapes at Caneel Bay Resort. Take the resort shuttle to Turtle Bay Veranda. Bring drinking water and wear old clothes. The fee is $85.

Jan. 15. Henley Cay Kayak and Snorkel Adventure. Join V.I. Ecotours from 2 to 5 p.m. for an afternoon of adventure and fun exploring Caneel Bay and Henley Cay. Meet at Honeymoon Beach. Take a taxi to Caneel Bay Resort then walk to the beach or hike to Honeymoon Beach from Cruz Bay via the Lind Point Trail. Bring water, snack, hat, towel, hiking shoes and wear a bathing suit. The fee is $85.

Jan. 17. Kayak the Mangroves of Hurricane Hole, Join Arawak Expeditions from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a kayak through the Coral Reef National Monument. Meet at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant. Bring lunch, water, snorkel gear, hat, sunscreen and a towel. The fee is $95.

Jan. 20. Seashore Walk. Join park ranger Laurel Brannick from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a seashore walk of Mary’s a picnic lunch. Meet at the Annaberg Plantation parking lot. Bring lunch, water, towel, hat and sunscreen. Wear closed heel water shoes or sandals. The fee is $35.

Jan. 26. Lameshur Bay/V.I. Environmental Resource Station Tour. Join VIERS staff on an historical walk around Lameshur Bay that includes a short hike of the Yawzi Trail to the ruins of an 18th century great house. Visit VIERS for lunch and a tour of the facility and the Tektite Underwater Habitat Museum. Meet at the Lameshur Bay parking lot. Bring and notebook and water. The fee is $35.

Jan. 27. Hike with the Super. Join park Superintendent Brion FitzGerald from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m. for a hike of the L’Esperance trail followed by a boat ride from Reef Bay back to Cruz Bay. It is a 2.5 mile hike and involves steep climbs in spots. This hike is not for beginners. Meet at park Visitors Center. Bring lunch, water, hat and sunscreen. The fee is $65.

Jan. 29. Caneel Bay Standup Paddleboard Tour. Join V.I. Ecotours from 2 to 5 p.m.to paddleboard from Honeymoon Beach to Solomon Beach and Caneel Bay. Meet at V.I. Ecotours on Honeymoon Beach. Take a taxi to Caneel Bay Resort then a short walk to Honeymoon or hike to Honeymoon from Cruz Bay via the Lind Point Trail. Bring a snack, water, towel, hat and sunscreen. The fee is $40.

Jan. 30. Bordeaux Mountain Trail High Energy Hike. From 9 a.m. to noon, enjoy Gary Ray’s interpretation of the natural history of the Bordeaux Mountain Trail. With a 1,050 feet elevation gain, this is not a hike for beginners. Meet at Lameshur Bay rum distillery. Bring water, binoculars and notebook. The fee is $40.

Feb. 5. Hassel Island Kayak and Hike. From 2 to 5 p.m., kayak from Frenchtown across Charlotte Amalie Harbor while learning about the colonial history of Hassel Island from your guide. Snorkel gear is included. Meet at Frenchtown Marina in front of Hook, Line and Sinker Restaurant on St. Thomas. Bring towel, sunscreen, plenty of water/snacks, and wear closed heel water/hiking shoes and bathing suit. The fee is $85.

Feb. 7. Booby Rock Snorkel/Sunset Sail aboard S/V Mahiya, a custom built 30-foot catamaran. The trip runs from 1:45 to 6:30 p.m. Snorkel at Booby Rock before sailing around Ram Head Point for sunset. Water, ice, island drinks and snacks included but guests are welcome to bring food and beverages. Meet at Calabash Market, where you will follow Capt. Karl to Johnson Bay. Bring snorkel gear, hat, towel and sunscreen. The fee is $75.

Feb. 8. Full Moon Hike. Hike to the top of Ram Head from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. during the full moon with park Ranger Alanna Smith while you explore the southernmost point of St. John. Meet at Salt Pond parking lot. Bring snack, water, flashlight or headlamp. Wear hiking shoes. The fee is $40.

Feb. 10. Medicinal Herbs. From 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Delroy “Ital” Anthony will discuss the natural benefits of native herbs found throughout the Caribbean. Enjoy local beverages and taste plants. Meet at St. John School of the Arts. Bring a notebook and pen. The fee is $45.

Feb. 17. Archaeology by Sea. The trip runs from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Discover St. John’s rich heritage as you travel by boat along the north shore of St. John with park archaeologist Ken Wild. Meet at the park Visitors Center dock at 9:45 a.m. Bring lunch, water, hat, sunscreen, swimsuit, a camera and towel. The fee is $75.

Feb. 18. Tropical Light Photography. Travel through the park from 8 a.m. to noon with photographer Steve Simonsen as he shows you how to creatively capture the park’s beauty. Meet at the park’s Visitors Center to carpool. Bring a camera and manual, batteries, memory cards, water and notebook. The fee is $55.

Feb. 19. Historic Hassel Island Hike and Boat Tour. It runs from 1:45 to 5 p.m. The trip includes a guided boat tour and short hike of Hassel Island. Meet at Frenchtown Marina Dock on St. Thomas at 1:45 p.m. Bring snack, water, hat and sun protection and wear sturdy walking shoes. The fee is $69.

Feb. 20. Coastal Ecology. Circumnavigate St. John aboard the m/v Low Key with the park’s former chief of resource management, Rafe Boulon. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet at the park Visitor Center at 8:45 a.m. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen and snorkel gear. The fee is $85.

Feb. 23. Bats on St John. It runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Join park Resources and Interpretation Chief Dave Worthington for an evening of bat observation and netting. Meet at VIERS at 4: 30 p.m. Bring water, snack, flashlight/headlamp and rain gear. The fee is $50.

Feb. 24. Birds of the Park. Tour St. John’s north shore by safari taxi from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Led by park ranger Laurel Brannick, the tour stops to view native and seasonal birds in their natural habitat. Binoculars are provided. Meet at the park Visitors Center. Bring water, snack and notebook. The fee is $65.

Feb. 27. Lovango Sustainable Living and Design Tour with local boat captain and solar design guru Dan Boyd. It runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tour the Lovango Beach House and learn more about how residents of this island have learned to live off the grid. Meet at Friends of the Park store. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen and hat. Wear a bathing suit and hiking shoes. The fee is $65.      

March 2. Birds of the Park. Tour St. John’s north shore from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. by safari taxi, stopping along the way to view native and seasonal birds in their natural habitat with park ranger Laurel Brannick. Meet at the park Visitors Center. Bring water, snack and a notebook. The fee is $65.

March 5. St. John Orchid Tour. It runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes a discussion on native orchids and hybrids and tours of local gardens that have incorporated native and hybrid orchids into their surroundings. Meet at Friends store in Mongoose Junction to carpool. Bring lunch, water and sunscreen. The fee is $65.

March 6. Marine Biology Sail. Running from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., it includes a guided sail aboard the s/v Calypso and snorkel through St. John’s reefs with National Park Service marine biologist Jeff Miller. Meet at the park Visitor Center dock flagpole. Bring lunch, water bottle, towel and sunscreen. The fee is $95.

March 8. Full Moon Hike. Join park ranger Corinne Fenner from 5 to 8:30 p.m. for a hike to the top of Ram Head while exploring the southernmost point of St. John. Meet at the Salt Pond parking lot. Bring snack, water, flashlight or headlamp and wear hiking shoes. The fee is $40.

March 9. From 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Delroy “Ital” Anthony will discuss the natural benefits of native herbs found throughout the Caribbean. Enjoy local beverages and taste plants. Meet at St. John School of the Arts. Bring a notebook and pen. The fee is $45.

March 16. Archaeology by Sea. The trip runs from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Discover St. John’s rich heritage as you travel by boat along the north shore of St. John with park archaeologist Ken Wild. Bring a camera and a bathing suit. Meet at park Visitors Center dock at 9:45 a.m. Bring lunch, water, hat, sunscreen, swimsuit and towel. The fee is $75.

March 20. Booby Rock Snorkel/Sunset Sail aboard S/V Mahiya, a custom built 30-foot catamaran. The trip runs from 1:45 to 6:30 p.m. Snorkel at Booby Rock before sailing around Ram Head Point for sunset. Water, ice, island drinks, and snacks included but guests are welcome to bring food and beverages. Meet at Calabash Market, where you will follow Capt. Karl to Johnson Bay. Bring snorkel gear, hat, towel, sunscreen, and snacks. The fee is $75.

March 22. East End Kayak Tour. Join Reef 2 Peak Excursions from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a guided kayak from the sandy beach at Hansen Bay to Long Point. The trip includes a coastal walk. Meet at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant to carpool to Hansen Bay. Bring lunch, water, swimsuit, water shoes, snorkel gear, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. The fee is $75.

March 24. Bats on St. John. It runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Join park Resources and Interpretation Chief Dave Worthington for an evening of bat observation and netting. Meet at VIERS at 4:30 p.m. Bring water, snack, flashlight/headlamp, and rain gear. The fee is $50.

March 30. Hike with the Super. Join park Superintendent Brion FitzGerald from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m. for a hike of the L’Esperance trail followed by a boat ride from Reef Bay back to Cruz Bay. It is a 2.5 mile hike, and involves steep climbs in spots. This hike is not for beginners. Meet at park Visitors Center. Bring lunch, water, hat, and sunscreen. The fee is $65.

March 31. Sea Turtle Sail aboard the Castaway Girl II to Buck Island, St. Thomas with the park’s natural resource manager, Thomas Kelley. It runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Meet at the Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas waterfront across from the Greenhouse restaurant. Bring snack, water, sunscreen, hat, snorkel gear, and swimsuit. The fee is $75.

April 1. Taino Pottery Pit firing class. The seminar runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local artist Gail Van de Bogurt walks you through the steps of making your own Taino style pottery. Meet at Pottery in Paradise located behind Pickles Deli on Rt. 107 in Coral Bay. Bring snack and water. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. The fee is $65.

April 2. Create Your Own Petroglyph. Join a park ranger from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for a fun and educational seminar presentation about the history and significance of prehistoric petroglyphs like the ones found along the Reef Bay Trail. Following the presentation, you will make your very own petroglyph. All materials included. Meet at the covered picnic tables outside the Visitors Center, Bring water, snack and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. The fee is $35.

April 3.  Paddleboard, Hike, and Snorkel. Join Reef 2 Peak Excursions from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.as you discover St. John’s quiet East End. Hike through the private estate of the Lambertis family of Hansen Bay. Paddleboard to Long Point and stop for a guided snorkel at Pelican Rock. Meet at Skinny Legs to carpool. Bring lunch, water, swimsuit, water shoes, hiking shoes, snorkel gear, towel, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. The fee is $75.

April 7. Full Moon Hike. Hike to the top of Ram Head from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. during the full moon with park ranger Alanna Smith while you explore the southernmost point of St. John. Meet at Salt Pond parking lot. Bring snack, water, flashlight, or headlamp. Wear hiking shoes. The fee is $40.

April 9. Mangrove Snorkeling Boat Trip. The trip runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit Hurricane Hole’s Otter Creek and Water Creek in V.I. Coral Reef National Monument on board the m/v Low Key with marine ecologist Caroline Rogers. Meet at the park Visitor Center dock at 8:45 a.m. Bring lunch, water, snorkel gear, towel, sunscreen, hat and snack. The fee is $95.

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