ASA  WRIGHT  NATURE  CENTRE

Request For Proposals (RFP): Concession to Operate an Eco-Lodge

The Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC) is seeking proposals from qualified entities to operate the eco-lodge located at Springhill Estate, 7½ Mile Mark, Arima-Blanchisseuse Road, Arima Valley, in Trinidad and Tobago, under a concession agreement for a possible contract term of ten (10) years.

Please find all the information and download the complete Request for Proposal here. Any updates, clarifications or addenda are to be found here as well:

 FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE RFP PAGE
(As of 18 September: Includes Clarifications and Responses – Ver 2 along with an Addendum extending the Deadline for Submission to 15 October 2021)
 

The deadline for submission of proposals is 15 October 2021 at 4pm (local time).A site visit is scheduled for 08 September 2021. Pre-registration is required (see RFP for further details).


 3rd September, 2021 

STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT 

Release by- Prof. Judith Gobin, Chair, AWNC 

To all of our dear AWNC supporters, well-wishers and nationals of Trinidad and Tobago: 

We hope that everyone is staying as safe as possible during these unpredictable times. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, glimmers of hope – vaccinations, and the partial re-opening of the Trinidad and Tobago borders, are tempered with continuing harsh realities: more robust variants, volatile eco-tourism recovery, an extension to the State of Emergency (with curfews) and continued restrictions to outdoor movement. 

It has been just over 7 months (January 2021) since the Board of the AWNC made the difficult decision to terminate the eco-lodge business of the AWNC’s Trust. We continue to receive numerous emails and phone calls- enquiring about the resumption of our operations and wish to share a brief update. 

In our last statement, in February 2021, we indicated that there are ongoing trade disputes lodged by the Governmental Industrial and General Workers Union (GIGWU) against the Centre. Despite our efforts, the conciliation processes facilitated by the Ministry of Labour and directly with the Union have not yet produced a resolution. While we continue to respect the industrial relations process, we wish to assure everyone that the Board (and Trustees) of the Asa Wright Nature Centre remain committed to finding a sustainable and resilient business model that secures the future of the Centre. 

We continue to endeavour to protect the lands from ever present threats such as illegal hunting, quarrying etc. and to support ongoing wildlife monitoring. Assistance from our security personnel and all of our voluntary Board Members have been invaluable. I would also like to sincerely thank Senator the Honourable Randall Mitchell, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts for his tremendous assistance, along with the staff of Ministries of Tourism and Public Utilities and CEPEP and Local Government -in these efforts. 

In an effort to support our ongoing important conservation and sustainable development work and to meet the core objectives of our Trust Deed; the Board of management has issued an RFP- for proposals for a Concession to operate the Eco-Lodge. The intent of this call is to actively seek out mission-aligned tourism development entities who can support the lodging activities of the AWNC Trust. 

Together we hope to work towards building a locally loved, already internationally recognized brand that will become the benchmark for sustainable hotel/tourism operation in the region. Please visit our website and Facebook page for the details of the RFP and to receive future updates. 

We thank you for your continued support. 


COVID-19 CRISIS

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Asa Wright Nature Centre has been closed to visitors for several months and the eco-lodge has permanently ceased operations. However, the not-for-profit Trust remains in existence and it will continue managing its protected areas as a wildlife sanctuary.

We will continue with thoughtful consideration for the health and well-being of our visitors, staff, and local communities, in compliance with guidelines established by our Ministry of Health regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, and thus remain closed until further notice.

During the interim, we will be working towards preserving the wildlife sanctuary and engaging in critical conservation work. As we have no revenue to sustain these important activities your assistance is critical – please help support our work now with your donation.

Please join the growing list of friends, government officials, business and community leaders, scientists, environmentalists, teachers, parents and children from around the world who have already donated to help us during this crisis!

Please Donate Now and help us sustain this crown jewel of Trinidad & Tobago!


A MESSAGE FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL GUESTS AND VISITORS

Please Make a Contribution – Help us to survive and also continue our important research and conservation work through this crisis! Your donation to the international Friends of the Asa Wright Nature Centre will make a huge difference!
You can use this online link to our secure page for donations directly by Credit Card or through PayPal or ApplePay in your own currency: USD, GBP, Canadian Dollar, and the Euro.

Donate

 

International donations may also be made by check. Please mail your contribution, payable to the “Friends of the Asa Wright Nature Centre” to Secretary, FOAWNC, 2601 Burlington Ave N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33713.

Note to donors from the United States: The Friends of the Asa Wright Nature Centre, Inc. is a not for profit corporation organized under the laws of the state of Florida and is recognized by the U.S. government as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions received from residents of the United States are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. (Federal EIN# 01-0832520)


SUPPORTERS IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO CAN DONATE IN $TTD directly to the Centre

You can use this online link to our secure page for donations directly by VISA or MasterCard in $TTD!

Donate in TTD$
 

© Peg Abbott


STAY HOME – STAY SAFE
but please come visit us when this is over!

Until it is safe please enjoy this virtual birding tour of Trinidad & Tobago based at the Asa Wright Nature Centre!

These excellent videos were graciously made available by Jim Coyle of Glasgow, Scotland. Jim and his wife Lynda visited the Centre in early February of 2020 and recorded their birding adventures in this 3-part YouTube presentation.

Jim Coyle is a noted Wildlife Lecturer, Photographer & Guide. Having spent 35 years in local government primarily in the fields of town planning, the natural environment, biodiversity, and parks and green spaces, he now pursues his outside interests – bird watching (30+ years), travelling and wildlife photography. According to Jim, his YouTube series on this trip was recorded on a bridge camera – Canon Powershot SX50 – to emphasise that you don’t need expensive equipment to see or photograph the birds!


Part 1 – Welcome to the Centre and its world-famous Birder’s Verandah!


Part 2 – Birding the Centre’s beautiful grounds and varied trails


Part 3 – Enjoy the Centre’s Off-site Birding Tours to see Trinidad & Tobago Highlights


The AWNC is a “Not-for-Profit” Trust established in 1967 by a group of naturalists and bird-watchers to “protect part of the Arima Valley in a natural state and to create a conservation and study area for the protection of wildlife and for the enjoyment of all.” It was one of the first nature centres to be established in the Caribbean.

Comprising nearly 1,500 acres of mainly forested land in the Arima and Aripo Valleys of the Northern Range, the AWNC’s properties will be retained under forest cover in perpetuity, to protect the community watershed and provide important wildlife habitat.

The Centre’s main facilities are located on a former cocoa-coffee-citrus plantation, previously known as the Spring Hill Estate. This estate has now been partly reclaimed by secondary forest, surrounded by impressive rainforest, where some original climax forest on the steeper slopes have a canopy of 100-150 feet. The whole effect is one of being deep in tropical rainforest.

Catch up on all of the Centre’s programs and outreach activities in each new issue of The Bellbird, the official newsletter of the Asa Wright Nature Centre. Issues can be dowloaded in PDF format and can be read in either your browser or on your desktop.

Link Here to current and all past editions of the Bellbird.

Link Here to download and enjoy the very special 50th Anniversary Edition of the Bellbird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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