Posted by: Kirsten | Saturday, 8 December 2007

Another Typical Busy Week at Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands National Park interpretive events calendar seems to be full even as we approach the winter of 2007-08.  Here’s a list of what’s going on this week:

Discover Bird Watching
Date: Every Sunday thru 12/30/2007
Time: 7:30 AM
Location: Francis Bay Parking Lot

Join a ranger for a walk around the Francis Bay wetlands and learn what birds make the mangroves their home, which are migratory and which are residents. Habitats along the way include dry forest, salt pond, and seashore. Bring binoculars, field guides, and insect repellent Meet at the Francis Bay trailhead. (Taxi service is usually available at Cruz Bay ferry dock at 7:00 AM)

Snorkel Trip
Date: Every Monday thru 12/31/2007
Time: 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Location: Trunk Bay Beach

Snorkel over a coral reef and discover the Park underwater resources. The ranger will point out different coral formations, the organisms that live there and explain how they the relate to each other. In addition, you will learn what the Park is doing to protect these valuable resources. Bring your mask, snorkel, fins, and a t-shirt to prevent sunburn. Program is not for novice snorkelers. Meet at Trunk Bay west lifeguard stand. ($4.00 user fee at Trunk Bay for visitors 16 and over.)

Reef Bay Hike
Date: Every Monday & Thursday thru 12/27/2007
Time: 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Location: Visitor Center

The secrets of St. John’s tropical forest, petroglyphs, and sugar mill ruins come alive on this three-mile downhill hike. Participants should bring lunch, 1 – 2 liters of water per person, any special medication (taken daily), and a swimsuit for a quick swim at the trails end. Wear good hiking shoes (no open-toed footwear or aqua socks), and cool comfortable clothing.

The hike is mostly downhill, but is not necessarily easy due to its length, steep rocky terrain, short but strenuous uphill sections, and the prevailing heat and humidity. In addition, there is the remote possibility that deteriorating sea conditions might require hiking back uphill to the trail head. Visitors with circulatory or joint/muscle problems, other medical conditions, or with small children, should carefully evaluate their ability to do this hike.

Participation is limited and the list fills up fast; therefore call (340) 776-6201, ext. 238 between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM to make reservations at least two weeks in advance. This hike includes transportation – a shuttle ride to the trail head (cost $6.00 per person) and a boat pick-up which returns hikers to the Visitor Center (cost $15.00 per person). All hikers MUST meet at the Visitor Center by 9:30 AM.

Cultural History Demonstrations
Date: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday thru 8/29/2008
Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins

Visit Annaberg sugar plantation ruins and learn the story of sugar production and the associated slave trade and slavery during the period of European economic expansion in the West Indies. In addition, learn what former slaves did to survive after emancipation (subsistence era). Witness bread-baking on a coal pot, basket weaving, and subsistence gardening demonstrations. Don`t be afraid to sample the dumb bread. Activities begin at 10:00 AM and ends at 2:00 PM on the days specified below.

Waters Edge Walk
Date: Every Wednesday thru 12/26/2007
Time: 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Location: Annaberg Parking Lot

Where the land meets the sea you will find the shoreline, a place of constant environmental change. Many plants and animals depend on this complex zone for their survival. For example, ghost crabs inhabit the white sand beaches scavenging for food, and mangroves provide shelter and protection for juvenile fish and crustaceans. Join a ranger and learn more about the coastal plants and animals. Meet at the Leinster Bay trail head below the Annaberg ruins. Shoes for wading is recommended.

Date: Every Saturday thru 12/29/2007
Time: 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: Cinnamon Bay Campground Amphitheater

Experience the majesty of the night sky!!! Meet the Ranger at the Cinnamon Bay amphitheater for a short introduction then head to the beach to view the stars and other celestial objects through a telescope. Bring your blankets or some thing to lie on.

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