National Wildlife Refuge System

Fall on a Refuge – Festivals, Fun and Service


Grassland Tours, Grades 5-7
Monday, September 17 through Friday, September 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, MO
Learn what makes up a grassland, how animals live in the ecosystem, and how Swan Lake Refuge manages grasslands for those species. Take part in hands-on activities in the field and in the visitor center.
Weed Warriors
Thursday, September 20, 1 to 3 p.m. — Patuxent Research Refuge – North Tract, MD
Help control non-native invasive plants on the refuge. Bring gloves, water, bug repellent (and hand tools if available). This event is free, but registration is required:  301-497-5887
Tree Swallow Nest Box Workshop
Thursday, September 20, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. — Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, ND
Build a nesting box for tree swallows from pre-cut lumber. Learn about tree swallows and other birds that may use the box. Also learn about proper box placement and maintenance. Pre-registration is required: 701-442-5474 ext. 117. 
National Public Lands Day
Many refuges will invite volunteers to mark this national day of service, on Saturday, September 29, by helping to clean and enhance refuge property. Here are some examples:

Buffalo Day/Public Lands Day – A buffalo chip throwing contest and a guided bus tour through the bison enclosure are just two activities at this all-day event. Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to noon to help collect seed.  Learn more about the event.

Help Big Muddy Refuge plant trees and prairie grass at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary in West Alton, MO. Wear work clothes and sturdy shoes. Gloves and shovels will be provided.

Take part in the refuge’s annual cleanup at the Prairie Creek Recreation Area.

Help refuge staff and volunteers remove invasive plants on the refuge. All ages welcome. Long pants, sturdy shoes and gloves are recommended. Refreshments are provided. Meet at the Egret Trail boardwalk parking lot along the auto tour route off Hwy 49.

Help clean up trash at the Hwy 105 Trinity River Bridge. Aluminum cans and metal will be recycled. Bring gloves. Trash bags provided.   
Nisqually Watershed Festival
Saturday, September 29, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Celebrate the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Nisqually Watershed with music, food, guided walks, educational displays and more. All festival and refuge parking is at River Ridge High School, 320 River Ridge Dr. SE. A free shuttle will run beginning at 7 a.m.
Full Moon Paddle
Sunday, September 30, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, MD 
Join Friends of Eastern Neck and the Center for Environment & Society of Washington College for a full moon paddle at the refuge. Bring your own kayak, lifejacket, paddle and flashlight. Meet at Bogles Wharf.  Group limit: 24 people. Register: 410-778-7295 




Photo caption from homepage: A dragonfly displays its fine mesh wings at Patuxent National Research Refuge, MD. Bitter Lake Refuge, NM, hosts a Dragonfly Festival on September 8 and 9.
Credit: Chelsi Hornbacker

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Last updated: September 18, 2012