Fostering an appreciation and respect for nature and its creatures should start early, and is something we support at Oil Nut Bay. This week, 16 young and eager students were invited to visit us on a field trip from Valley Day School of Virgin Gorda, so they could get acquainted with and learn about our animals and plants.
Their immersive half-day on the Oil Nut Bay property started out at our Marina, moved to our Stables where they met our horses, followed by meeting our 6 tortoises, and culminated in a pizza lunch and meeting our visionary developer David V. Johnson. Mr. Johnson spoke to them about the importance of our responsibility to both land and sea, getting a trio of rousing “yee-haw!” from the group to build their enthusiasm for the cause. Guiding their visit was Pam Johnson, whose vision it was to start the horse rescue and kids education program, and Beth Besom, horse trainer and helper.
The peninsula on which Oil Nut Bay is located teems with life – from iguanas and pelicans, to red mangroves, turtles and pufferfish. With Beth leading the group and Valley Day principal Jan Morash, and Julie Swartz, founder of GreenVI, contributing, the kids were able to identify mangroves and other plants, animals and habitats as they walked from the Marina to the Stables. The tour brought together for the students how all the elements of our seaside habitat contribute to the health and success of our island ecosystem.
Once at the Horse Park, Beth and Pam brought out two of our rescue horses, so they could talk about how horses interact with people, and how to be safe and respectful around them. Beth did a short demonstration of different gaits and how well-behaved and eager to please horses can be. Some of the kids who had never touched a horse before, got the opportunity to brush them and become comfortable with the animals, whose large stature can at first be intimidating. Fugitive and Kidd, with their infinite patience, certainly loved the attention. Kidd even fell asleep while being petted and brushed so generously!
We’re excited to provide more educational expertise such as this to future superstars like these kids, so they can continue to come back to visit and learn. As Mr. Johnson put it when he spoke to the students, “We are really God’s caretakers for a period of time, because this is going to be around for a lot longer than we are.” He left the kids with this lesson; “Every day, leave the world better than you saw it the day before.”
We look forward to hosting Robinson O’Neill School next week and many more in the months to come! We are proud of our beautiful slice of paradise and want to share this with our greater BVI community.