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Friends of the Park Offers Annual Seminars

Nov. 30, 2004 – It's not too soon to sign up for the Friends of V.I. National Park seminars. The seminars fill up fast, so don't wait. They run January through April and cover a wide range of topics.
"The seminars offer a unique opportunity to learn more about the fascinating history and rich natural resources of the park," Friends program manager Emily Burton said.
Call 779-4940 to make your reservation. Details follow:
-The series kicks off Jan. 12 with a seminar about Laurance Rockefeller and Caneel Bay by St. John Historical Society president Chuck Pishko. Rockefeller, who died in 2004, spearheaded development of the national park. It runs from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Meet at Caneel Bay Resort parking lot. The fee is $30 for non-members and $25 for members.
-Secrets to Nature Journal Writing is the topic of the Jan. 15 seminar. It runs 9 a.m. to noon at Trunk Bay picnic area. Author Cristina Kessler will lead the seminar. Bring notebook and pen or pencil. It runs $40 for non-members and $35 for members.
-St. John photographer Steve Simonsen leads the Jan. 22 and seminar on Underwater Photography. The seminar takes place at various St. John locations, but meet at the Annaberg Plantation parking lot. It runs from 8 a.m. to noon. Bring an underwater disposable or digital camera, a snack and water. The fee is $40 for non-members and $35 for members.
-Hike to Ram Head under a full moon with park ranger Don Near. This seminar runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 26. Meet at Saltpond parking lot with your water, snack, bug repellent, and flashlight or headlamp in your backpack. The fee is $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
-Park archeologist Ken Wild leads the Jan. 29 seminar, an Archeology Boat Trip, that takes participants to several bays along the island's North Shore. Snorkeling an 18th-century shipwreck is the highlight. It runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock in Cruz Bay with snorkel gear, lunch, water, sunscreen and a hat. The fee is $70 for non-members and $60 for members.
-The History of English Creole is language expert Elroy Sprauve's topic on Feb. 2. It runs 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Nazareth Lutheran Church hall. The fee is $30 for non-members and $25 for members.
-Explore bird life at Trunk, Cinnamon and Francis Bays with park ranger and Audubon Society of the Virgin Islands president Laurel Brannick-Trager on the Feb. 5 Bird Watching Tour. It runs from 7 to 11 a.m. Meet at the Cruz Bay taxi area for the tour. St. Thomas participants should take the 6:30 a.m. ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay. Bring binoculars if you have them, insect repellent and water. The trip runs $35 for non-members and $30 for members. The fee includes transportation.
-Wild leads another Archeology Boat Trip on Feb. 12, but this one runs along the South shore and includes a stop at Reef Bay for a swim and exploration of an old estate and burial ground at Lameshur Bay. It runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with snorkel gear, lunch, water, sunscreen, and a hat. The fee is $70 for non-members and $60 for members.
-Master drummer Eddie Bruce demonstrates entertainment and ritual drumming techniques in Feb. 16's Afro-Caribbean Drumming Workshop. It runs from noon to 2 p.m. at Maho Bay Camps F pavilion. Bring a drum if you have one. The fee is $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
-Explore Lameshur and Europa Bays with botanist and plant ecologist Gary Ray on Feb. 19. The 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. trip includes a tour of the V.I. Environmental Resource Station. Meet at Lameshur Bay Beach with binoculars, water, sunscreen, and bug repellent. VIERS will serve lunch. The fee runs $30 for non-members and $25 for members.
-Park marine biologist Jeff Miller will lead a Marine Biology Sailing Trip on Feb. 20. It runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. aboard the catamaran Allura. It includes stops at two or three snorkel spots. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with lunch, sunscreen and water. The fee runs $70 for non-members and $60 for members.
-Explore the Ruins of the North Shore Road – the Dennis Bay mill, the Trunk Bay sugar factory and Maho Bay Estate – with historian David Knight. It runs from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 23. Meet at the park Visitor's Center in Cruz Bay with a snack, water, sunscreen, and a hat. The fee is $35 for non-members and $30 for members.
-Trail guide "Thunderhawk" will lead a hike along Lind Point trail on the St. John Medicinal Walk. It runs from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 27. Participants will learn about bush medicine lore of the Taino and African-Caribbean cultures. Meet at the park Visitor's Center with water and sunscreen. Wear shoes suitable for hiking. The fee is $30 for non-members and $25 for members.

-Astro-mythologist Kelly Hunter tells about Stars and their Stories at the March 5 seminar. It runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Peace Hill on the North Shore Road. Bring a flashlight, binoculars and a blanket. The fee is $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
-Spend March 12 circumnavigating St. John aboard the Sadie Sea with Rafe Boulon, the park's chief of resource management, to learn about Coastal Ecology. The trip includes snorkeling stops. It runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with your lunch, water, wading shoes, and snorkel gear. The fee runs $70 for non-members and $60 for members.
-Traditional Basket Weaving is the theme for the March 16 seminar. Cultural bearer Dale Clave will show you how to make your own basket. It runs from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at Hawksnest Bay pavilion with water and bug repellent. The fee is $45 for non-members and $40 for members.
-Learn about mangrove ecology and history when you Kayak Hurricane Hole on March 19 with Barry Devine, a scientist at the University of the Virgin Islands. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meet at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant in Coral Bay. Bring water, snorkel gear and sunscreen. Lunch is included in the $70 non-member and $60 member fee.
-St. John Architecture is the topic for two seminars, one with architect Michael Milne on March 23 and the second with architect Glen Speer on April 16. Both run 9 a.m. to noon. Meet at the Sun Dog Café in Mongoose Junction to car pool to various locations to visit homes around the island. Each seminar runs $25 for members and $20 for members.
-Marine ecologist Caroline Rogers of the U.S. Geological Survey takes snorkelers on a Coral Reef Research tour of projects that monitor endangered species of coral. Not recommended for novice snorkelers. The trip runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 26. Meet at the Caneel Bay Resort dock with lunch, water, snorkel gear, a hat and sunscreen. The fee is $70 for non-members and $60 for members.
-Join UVI's marine advisor Elizabeth Ban on March 30 for Marine Fun for Kids! The seminar is appropriate for kids ages eight through 14, but parents are welcome to come with their children. Meet at the Annaberg Plantation parking lot. Bring snorkel gear, sunscreen, a snack, and water. The fee is $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
-Explore the island's marine eco-systems about the catamaran Jolly Mon on the April 2 Marine Biology Sailing Trip. Park rangers Carrie Stengle and Rob Waara will lead the way at two to three snorkeling spots. It runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with sunscreen, water and lunch. The fee is $70 for non-members and $60 for members.
-Photographer Steve Simonsen leads a Tropical Photography seminar on April 6. It will be held at various locations from 8 a.m. to noon. Meet at the park Visitor's Center with your camera, water and a snack. It runs $40 for non-members and $35 for members.
-Nonagenarian Guy Benjamin tells tales of his youth in St. John in the Early 1900s. It runs from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. April 9 at Vie's Snack Shack on St. John's East End. The fee is $30 for non-members and $25 for members.
-Sail the Pepper, an island sloop, with Captain Fred on April 23. The trip ma
kes two snorkel spots. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Meet at the park Visitor's Center dock with snorkel gear, lunch and a sunscreen. The fee is $70 for non-members and $60 for members.
-Snorkel the Six Ecosystems of Scott Bay with Caneel Bay Resort's chief "snorkologist," Lucy Portlock, on April 25. The trip runs 9 a.m. to noon. Meet at the Caneel Bay gift shop with snorkel gear, a snack and water. The fee is $30 for non-members and $25 for members.

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