Amuseum Naturalis, St. Martin’s only natural history museum, has big plans for the 2016-17 season. New and improved exhibits are in the works for the free pop-up museum, as well as expanded hours and school visits. The local community is helping to make it all possible by participating in the Friends of the Amuseum program.
“When we had the unexpected and incredible opportunity to create the museum last year, we had a really short timeframe to put together a space celebrating the nature of St. Martin that was fascinating and fun,” commented Amuseum curator Mark Yokoyama. “We were initially open just for the Mardis de Grand Case, and we added to the museum every week. By the end of the season, it was so much more than we had imagined. This year, with the support of the community and more time, we’re thrilled to take the museum to the next level.”
“The space for Amuseum Naturalis was donated by Delta Petroleum, and all the work to create and staff the museum is done by volunteers,” explained Jenn Yerkes, President of Les Fruits de Mer, the nonprofit association that developed Amuseum Naturalis. “That’s allowed us to do amazing things on a very small budget and keep the museum free for everyone. As we work to improve and reopen for this year, local businesses can help out by becoming Friends of the Amuseum.”
In the Friends of the Amuseum program, businesses or individuals can make a 100€ donation to Amuseum Naturalis and receive recognition as supporters. The funds will be used towards improved signage and exhibits, as well as ongoing costs of operating the museum. All those interested in becoming Friends of the Amuseum are encouraged to contact Les Fruits de Mer at [email protected].
For the coming season, the Les Fruits de Mer association plans to open the museum for regular evening hours and by appointment for school, youth and other groups during the day. Exhibits on subjects like St. Martin’s bat caves, freshwater creatures and species found only on St. Martin will be expanded, and they will be joined by new exhibits telling a variety of stories. Even with all the updates, admission to the museum will remain free of charge.
Amuseum Naturalis is a free, public pop-up museum of the natural history of St. Martin and the Caribbean, created by Les Fruits de Mer and made possible by the generous sponsorship of Delta Petroleum. Amuseum Naturalis is located at 96 Boulevard de Grand Case in Grand Case. Amuseum Naturalis is scheduled to reopen for the season in November 2016. For the latest information about exhibits and special events, visit http://amuseumnaturalis.com. Friends of the Amuseum are showcased on the Friends page of the site.