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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
GUADALUPE-NIPOMO DUNES NWR: Refuge Family Day Connects Families With Nature
Region 8, April 25, 2009
Refuge Family Day visitors explore display stations along a quarter-mile-long trail at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes NWR (photo: Michael Woodbridge,USFWS)
Refuge Family Day visitors explore display stations along a quarter-mile-long trail at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes NWR (photo: Michael Woodbridge,USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex SCEP Student Lisa Cox gets visitors excited about the National Wildlife Refuge System. (photo: Michael Woodbridge, USFWS)
Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex SCEP Student Lisa Cox gets visitors excited about the National Wildlife Refuge System. (photo: Michael Woodbridge, USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Michael Woodbridge, Hopper Mountain NWRC
On April 25, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in cooperation with the non-profit Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, hosted a “Refuge Family Day” on the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).  The event was part of the ongoing “Connecting Families with Nature Program,” sponsored by the Refuge and intended to encourage children and their families to get outside and experience nature together.

Refuge Family Day was held on the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes NWR from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and featured approximately 10-12 display stations along a quarter-mile hiking trail.  The displays provided information and hands-on activities for families to learn about local flora and fauna, with topics covering dunes reptiles and amphibians, western snowy plover conservation, and dunes butterflies and moths, among others.  Some of the organizations represented at the event were the Center for Natural Lands Management, California Academy of Sciences, and Cal Poly Department of Biological Sciences.

Approximately 70 children and adults attended the event—a good turnout for Guadalupe (population 6800).  Children were given “passports” and received a surprise when they got stamps from all the stations along the trail.  The event was also an opportunity for visitors to see a section of the refuge not often visited, as it took place on a part of the refuge where access is normally closed.

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes NWR, located along the Central Coast between San Luis Obispo and Vandenberg Air Force Base, encompasses part of one of the largest coastal dune systems remaining in California. Established to protect breeding habitat for the endangered California least tern and the threatened western snowy plover, the Refuge also provides habitat for other endangered species, including the California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, Morro blue butterfly, shoulder band dune snail, and 16 rare or endangered plant species.

Contact Info: Michael Woodbridge, 916-978-4445, michael_woodbridge@fws.gov