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Multiple Generations Celebrate Centennial at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge
Midwest Region, March 15, 2003
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On a peninsula of land, shrouded in fog and surrounded by two major waterways, multiple generations gathered to celebrate a long legacy of protecting lands, waters and wildlife.

Two days of events were held on March 14 and 15 at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge to publicly commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Many visitors were excited to be a part of this historic occasion, knowing that additional celebrations were simultaneously being held across the nation.

Even though warm weather was predicted for Friday, March 14th, a chill remained in the air as the sun did its best to burn through the fog. However, this did not dampen the spirits of more than 130 students and teachers from area schools who traveled to the refuge in anticipation of participating in fun-filled outdoor education activities pertaining to the National Wildlife Refuge System. Representatives from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Center for American Archeology, the Illinois Natural History Survey and the World Bird Sanctuary worked closely with Refuge staff to make the day a huge success.

On March 15th about 120 visitors continued the celebration, starting with a raptor program presented by the World Bird Sanctuary. Those in the audience were fascinated to see birds of prey ?up close? such as the peregrine falcon, great horned owl, turkey vulture and red-tailed hawk. Not to be outdone by birds held in captivity, a nearby flock of snow geese could be heard singing their melodic praises, while a variety of ducks and water birds were swimming and flying in the background of the outdoor amphitheater. In the words of Rachel Carson, ?There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature.?

Local dignitaries ceremoniously placed contents in the time capsule, while Larry Reid, a local radio personality and outdoor enthusiast, shared his personal insights pertaining to growing up in Calhoun County. He placed an emphasis on the positive impact of the refuge and how it has helped wildlife in the local area. Afterwards, everyone gathered for refreshments, prepared for afternoon bird walks, and chatted candidly about past, present, and future achievements. President Theodore Roosevelt would surely have been proud!

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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