Archive for the ‘National Wildlife Refuges’ Category

Fee-free Day at Parks, September 29th, National Public Lands Day

August 24, 2012

National Public Lands Day (NPLD),September 29, is a fee-free entrance day at many federal public lands including national parks. It’s a great opportunity to help a local or favorite public land near you and spend the rest of the day recreating or relaxing on the land. With free admission, feel free to bring a friend or make it a family outing, and enjoy the experience.

National Public Lands Day also partners with five federal land management agencies to provide a special thank-you to their volunteers. Each volunteer who participates in National Public Lands Day at Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or U.S. Forest Service public lands may receive a fee-free coupon.

Read more about the details on how fee-free days and fee-free coupons work on NPLD’s website: http://www.publiclandsday.org/highlights/fee-free-day-and-coupons

To locate an NPLD event near you, search by state or zip code here: http://www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites. More than 1,200 of the 2,000 sites are already listed online.

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National Wildlife Refuge System Birthday March 14 Celebrates Nation’s Conservation Legacy

March 7, 2012

Roseate spoonbills at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

 

 

Americans won’t have to look far to celebrate their proud conservation heritage this month. Many national wildlife refuges around the country will host open houses and public celebrations in honor of the 109th birthday of the National Wildlife Refuge System on March 14; hundreds will offer great opportunities for wildlife viewing.

On this date in 1903, President Teddy Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Florida’s Pelican Island to protect wild birds from bounty hunters. Today, the Refuge System’s 556 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts make up the nation’s premier network of public lands, providing vital habitat for thousands of animal and plant species.

Americans reap added benefits in improved human health and recreation, such as fishing, hiking, photography and wildlife watching. Refuges also support local communities, attracting tourist dollars, generating jobs and supplementing the educational programs of many school systems.

Last year, 45 million people visited a national wildlife refuge. According to an October 2011 report commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, refuges and other natural lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service generated about $4.2 billion in economic activity and supported more than 32,000 jobs.

“National wildlife refuges are national treasures that play a critical role in preserving America’s rich wildlife legacy,” says U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “Without refuges’ important conservation work, the country would lose many species of plants and animals that help clean our air, filter our water, pollinate our crops and boost our understanding of our place in the natural world.”

Refuge celebrations this month include:

  • Refuge System Birthday Bash!
    Saturday, March 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
    This free festival includes refuge tram tours, live animals, children’s crafts, music and entertainment. Enjoy live performances at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. by Billy B, the Natural Science Song and Dance Man. Hear a talk about wildlife artist Bob Hines at 1 p.m.
  • Happy Birthday Times Two
    Saturday, March 10, 9 a.m. to noon — Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, NC
    Take a free tram tour to celebrate the 28th birthday of the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the 109th birthday of the Refuge System. Learn about the history of the area before the establishment of the refuge. Look for black bear, bald eagles and other wildlife.
  • Birding and Wildlife Tour
    Wednesday, March 14, 9:30 a.m. — J.N. “Ding Darling” National Wildlife Refuge, FL
    Join a free naturalist-guided car caravan through the refuge to celebrate the birthday of the Refuge System! Meet at the flagpole. Learn about the history of the Refuge System and of this refuge. Choose from more than 30 free programs a week at the refuge through March.
  • 20th Annual Pelican Island Wildlife Festival
    Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Riverview Park, Sebastian, FL
    Celebrate the 109th birthday of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge System. Enjoy exhibits, wildlife shows, discounted boat tours to Pelican Island, live music and kids’ activities. Learn more about the festival.
  • Birthday Celebration
    Saturday, March 17, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. — Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. MD
    Celebrate 109th birthday of National Wildlife Refuge System. Meet at refuge office.

Refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Every state has at least one national wildlife refuge. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major cities.

Use the “Find Your Refuge” feature on the Refuge System homepage to see if your local refuge has an event scheduled.

VIDEO: Visit National Wildlife Refuges!

CALENDAR: Spring 2012 events

 

Thompsons Water Seal Supports National Parks with Facebook Contest

July 30, 2011

A scene in Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado. Thompson’s®Water Seal® is offering the chance to win one of five annual passes to more than 2,000 National Parks and federal recreational sites in the “Just Park It” summer contest © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

No matter how delightful your deck, sometimes you need to vary your view. That’s why Thompson’s®Water Seal® is offering the chance to win one of five annual passes to more than 2,000 National Parks and federal recreational sites in the “Just Park It” summer contest.

Simply travel to the Thompson’s Water Seal Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thompsonswaterseal) between now and August 15 and follow all of the instructions for completing the online form, including providing a short written entry about which National Park you would like to visit and why. Five winners will receive the America the Beautiful Pass, valued at $80, valid for 12 months. Each pass admits one car, with up to four adults, for limitless visits throughout the year. (There is no admission charge for children under 16.)

Stumped for a reason why you should enter? How about getting a chance to see:

  • The highest point in North America, Mt. McKinley at 20,320 feet (Denali National Park and Preserve)
  • The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, Death Valley National Park, CA
  • The longest cave system in the world with more than 345 miles mapped (Mammoth Cave National Park, KY)
  • The nation’s deepest cave at 1,593 feet deep (Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM)
  • The deepest lake (1,932 feet) in the United States (Crater Lake National Park, OR)
  • The second and third largest natural bridges in the world (Natural Bridges National Monument, UT)

The Thompson’s Water Seal VIP Program (Very Important Places) supports the preservation of structures at some of America’s premier national parks, including Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Thompson’s®Water Seal®Deck & House Solid Latex Stain is also used to protect the Cave of the Winds decks at Niagara Falls State Park. Videos documenting the brand’s efforts in the parks can be seen on the Facebook page.

Spend a few minutes at Facebook, and you could spend an entire year exploring more than 84 million acres of national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails in every state (except Delaware). You’ll return to your own backyard with a whole new world view.

June Begins a Summer Full of Fun In the National Wildlife Refuge System

May 26, 2011

Roseate spoonbills at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida, The National Wildlife Refuge system hosts wonderful events throughout the summer. © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Enjoy a summer of fun in the National Wildlife Refuge system.

National Fishing and Boating Week
What better time to teach a child to fish than on National Fishing and Boating Week, and what better place than a national wildlife refuge? Many refuges will host youth fishing derbies and other public events in June to mark this yearly celebration of fishing and boating, sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Refuge Events Calendar
Summer, glorious summer, ushers in a rush of family events on national wildlife refuges. Paddle trips, fishing rodeos, butterfly counts and scavenger hunts in the night sky are just some of the adventures planned. Come see why it’s always a good time to visit a national wildlife refuge.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

See:

THE NATURAL WONDERS OF FLORIDA’S LEE COUNTY
From Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island to Manatee Park

Where to Be Wild in Palm Beach County and slideshow

See more travel features and photos at:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

Happy Birthday, National Wildife Refuge System

March 11, 2011
Birthday Events at National Wildlife Refuges

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge manager Jill Terp helps children explore nature at a public event at the refuge. Many refuges will hold open houses to celebrate the Refuge System's 108th birthday on March 14 (photo credit: USFWS).

Scores of national wildlife refuges will be holding open houses and other special events to celebrate the Refuge System’s 108th birthday on March 14, 2011.

On March 14, 1903, President Teddy Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on Florida’s Pelican Island to protect wild birds from bounty hunters. In the proclamation, President Roosevelt said: “Wild beasts and birds are by right not the property merely of the people who are alive today, but the property of unknown generations, whose belongings we have no right to squander.” He would go on to protect 52 more areas as wildlife sanctuaries before leaving office.

The President’s America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations, initiative is the result of a national conversation affirming America’s commitment to conserving and connecting with our outdoor heritage. Our national wildlife refuges provide opportunities for families to share time together and Americans to fish, hike, hunt and pass on proud outdoor traditions to our children.

Today, the Refuge System’s 553 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts support at least 700 species of birds, 220 mammals, 250 reptiles and amphibians, more than 1,000 species of fish and countless invertebrates and plants.

Just a few examples of refuge celebrations to be held on or around the birthday date follow. To find out if your local refuge has an event scheduled, use the “Find Your Refuge” feature on the Refuge System homepage. Or go to the Visitors tab on the yellow bar at the top of the page, and click on Special Events in the pull-down menu. Click on “Display All Events.” All events are listed chronologically.

  • Attend the Refuge System Birthday Bash!

Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
Celebrate the birthday of the National Wildlife Refuge System. See animals close up and enjoy performances by Reptile World. Includes wildlife habitat tram tours and children’s activities and crafts. Learn more about Patuxent Refuge.

  • Enjoy an Open House in Honor of the Refuge System Birthday

Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, OR
Celebrate the Refuge System’s birthday by taking part in free family events at the refuge. Take a free two-hour guided “behind the scenes” tour with refuge managers at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. Advance registration is required. To reserve, call 541-757-7236. Take part in activities on prescribed fire, local wildlife and plants, law enforcement, wildlife photography and historic structures. Learn more about William L. Finley Refuge.

  • Attend a Family Event in Honor of the Refuge System Anniversary

Saturday, March 12, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, LA
An anniversary celebration, called “Walk Where the Wildlife Walks,” emphasizes refuge trails. Take a guided trail walk, try mystery geocaching or test yourself with challenge trail activities. Canoe the refuge’s expanded canoe loop trail. Learn more about Black Bayou Lake Refuge.

  • Attend a Birthday Event

Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m. to noon — Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, NC
Enjoy a free tram tour, and learn why it’s important to preserve these and other public lands for generations to come. Learn more about the event. Learn more about Alligator River Refuge.

  • Attend the 19th Annual Pelican Island Wildlife Festival

Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Riverview Park, Sebastian, FL
Celebrate the 108th birthday of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge System. Enjoy exhibits, wildlife shows, boat tours to Pelican Island, live music and kids’ activities. Learn more about the festival. Learn more about Pelican Island Refuge.

  • Hear an Anniversary Talk

Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. —Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, MD
Meet at the visitor contact station to hear an interpretive talk. Learn more about Eastern Neck Refuge at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/easternneck

  • Enjoy Sense of Wonder Day

Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, UT
In honor of the Refuge System’s birthday and the amazing work and life of Rachel Carson, there will be movies and lectures, crafts and activities, and outdoor fun for the whole family. Learn more about Bear River Refuge.

  • Enjoy a Refuge Open House

Saturday, March 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Enjoy exhibits, hikes, nature trails, music, historical narratives, photo ops and more. Learn more about St. Vincent Refuge.

Other upcoming events at the National Wildife Refuge System:

Clean a Refuge for Earth Day
Earth Day, April 22, has been set aside since 1970 to celebrate the earth’s richness, recognize its fragility and educate people about protecting the planet. Many refuges will host public events.

Celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week
Many refuges will host public events in June to mark this annual celebration of fishing and boating, sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Focus on a Bird Festival
With so many national wildlife refuges located near one of the nation’s four major flyways, it’s no wonder refuges are favorite bird festival sites. Many festivals occur in April and May to coincide with spring migration and International Migratory Bird Day.

Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week
Plan ahead. National Wildlife Refuge Week, observed the second week in October, celebrates the important conservation work of America’s 553 national wildlife refuges.

Refuge Events Calendar
There is a National Wildlife Refuge within an hour’s drive of most major U.S. cities. Here is a sampling of upcoming refuge events.

For more information ,visit http://www.fws.gov.

See also:

Where to be wild in Palm Beach County, Florida and see slideshow