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Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge begins its 75th Anniversary Year with the Annual Swing the Gates Open Celebration
Midwest Region, March 3, 2012
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Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge 75th Birthday Cake with Bob Christison (center) holding cake along with current manager, past employees and Friends members(from left to right) Myrna Carlton, Ruth Daugherity, Steve Whitson, Mike Moore, Bob Christison, Larry Lentz, Marv Lentz, and Charlie Friedl
Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge 75th Birthday Cake with Bob Christison (center) holding cake along with current manager, past employees and Friends members(from left to right) Myrna Carlton, Ruth Daugherity, Steve Whitson, Mike Moore, Bob Christison, Larry Lentz, Marv Lentz, and Charlie Friedl - Photo Credit: USFWS

Each year Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge opens the gates to the interior of the refuge on the first Saturday of March with a celebration known as Swing the Gates Open. This year featured a special twist to the celebration as the refuge turned 75 years old on Feb. 27, 2012.

Staff and Friends hosted a birthday party for the refuge with a cake and a living history presentation put on by volunteer, Paul Chisholm, who portrayed a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worker working on the refuge in the 1940s. The group also had a special guest present for the birthday party, Bob Christison. Christison turned 95 years old recently and spent time working on Swan Lake as a CCC worker in the late 1930s. Christison helped to build much of the early infrastructure on the refuge, some of which is still utilized.

There were 116 people present for the celebration. Refuge staff plan to continue celebrating 75 years of Swan Lake Refuge through the remainder of the year. The Linn County Leader featured a 12-page insert of the paper in April featuring Swan Lake and its history. The Annual Wild Goose Festival in Sumner plans to have as its main theme this year the anniversary of Swan Lake Refuge. The Goose Festival is held in October and attracts between 2,000-4,000 people each year.


Contact Info: Steve Whitson, 660-856-3323 ext. 13, steve_whitson@fws.gov



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