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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Urban Families Explore Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Region 3, August 6, 2013
Composing images during a photo scavenger hunt.
Composing images during a photo scavenger hunt. - Photo Credit: n/a
Checking out the bog floor.
Checking out the bog floor. - Photo Credit: n/a
Exploring Seney National Wildlife Refuge by bicycle.
Exploring Seney National Wildlife Refuge by bicycle. - Photo Credit: n/a
Taking a break from bicycling to look for wildlife from the observation deck.
Taking a break from bicycling to look for wildlife from the observation deck. - Photo Credit: n/a

“A lot of times we don’t know what we like until we are exposed to new things” – 2013 participant

Thanks to a partnership between the non-profit group Our Global Kids and numerous public land management agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Huron - Clinton Metroparks, a group of nearly 50 participants from the Detroit area were able to travel north and explore public lands. The group visited Hartwick Pines and Tahquamenon Falls State Parks, Hiawatha National Forest, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

While at the refuge, families were able to catch and observe aquatic macroinvertebrates, take a guided nature hike, explore the visitor center, and participate in a bus or bicycle tour. They interacted with a variety of refuge staff and volunteers and learned about internships at the refuge. Many volunteers loaned bicycles and provided lunch desserts and the Seney Natural History Association provided financial assistance. After leaving Seney Refuge, refuge staff lead the group to U.S. Forest Service property where they were able to get their feet wet in a bog. On the final night of their stay, participants gathered with land managers and staff for a fish boil and sharing session.

Participant comments during the sharing session:

“I appreciated the fellowship with the families and kids and nature”.
“I liked how we found the blueberries all around.”
“I am not an outdoor person - I send them outdoors - but I enjoyed everything.”
“I liked the bog. I’ve never experienced one. It was like stepping on a sponge.”
“We’ve seen things beyond expectation.”
“I would have never come to the U.P. I loved the serene environment. We all had a great time.”
“I liked archery, bogs, and frogs.”
“I’ve never seen kids so excited about learning.”
“The tastes, the smells, the sights – first time ever camping and it is like nothing else.”
“I liked the bike ride – even though I fell I got back up.”
“I liked when we were by the fire and roasted marshmallows.”
“It was fun. We played lots of games, people got along well, saw new things.”
“This was one of my favorite vacations.”

Check out more photos: http://ourglobalkids.org/Our_Global_Kids/Photos.html

Learn more about Seney National Wildlife Refuge: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/seney/

Contact Info: jennifer wycoff-mcdonough, 906-586-9851 x 16, jennifer_mcdonough@fws.gov