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Refuges in Yuma, Arizona Host "Let's Go Outside" Event
Southwest Region, October 18, 2008
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On October 18, Yuma, Arizona was treated to a celebration of the National Wildlife Refuge System!  More than 250 people attended the event which was hosted by the Southwest Arizona National Wildlife Refuge Complex.  The Complex’s new facility was a great venue for the event which included a diversity of activities and exhibits.   The Mayor of Yuma, Larry Nelson, assisted Project Leader Mitch Ellis with welcoming remarks and distributing door prizes. 

The theme of the event was “Let’s Go Outside,” with emphasis being placed on children.    The facility’s entire conference room was dedicated to children’s activities.  There were puppet shows, button making, face painting, touch tables, and talks on bats and snakes.  Children were “issued” refuge backpacks upon arrival and were able to fill them with gadgets and goodies provided by the staff and exhibitors. 

Other highlights included a raptor free-flight demonstration provided by the Arizona –Sonora Desert Museum, Native American dancing conducted by the Cocopah Tribe, and a desert tortoise workshop given by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.  There were also several live snakes on display, including all the rattlesnake species found in the Yuma area.  Another highlight was the wildlife calling contest, hosted by the Refuge staff.   Several children and adults participated, but it was one teenager’s rendition of a hyena that took home the grand prize.

Of course, no event would be complete without good food!  And we had plenty, provided by the United Way, Humane Society, Yuma Food Bank and Cocopah Tribe. 

All in all, the event was a great success and we hope to repeat events similar to this in years to come.  Yuma’s “Let’s Go Outside” event will certainly be remembered by those that attended!

Contact Info: Mitch Ellis, 928-783-7861 ext 17, mitch_ellis@fws.gov



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