Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

January 9, 2007

Local Refuges Encourage Training for Birder Friendly Business and Birder Friendly Community

With over 100 coastal plain sites approved for the new NC Birding Trail, birders will be traveling in all corners of the coastal plain. Among the highlights of the trail are the national wildlife refuges of eastern North Carolina. Due to marketing associated with the NC Birding Trail, refuges will likely receive even more visits from birders than ever before. Mike Bryant, Refuge Manager for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges encourages local businesses and community members to take advantage of the training program offered by the NC Birding Trail. "One of the most obvious attractions for visitors to eastern North Carolina is the abundance of undeveloped land - our wild places," Bryant commented. "Businesses that can tap into the wildlife-oriented visitors will have a huge clientele, the majority of whom are well-educated and affluent. Statistics show that these visitors spend a great deal of money and show a lot of appreciation and respect for the environment in the places they visit. That makes them ideal guests!"

The NC Birding Trail announces a Birder Friendly Business and Birder Friendly Community training program to be held at Brunswick Community College on February 8, 2007. Designed for businesses and communities near the birding trail, this training will provide tools and information to market your business and community to birders as they travel the NC Birding Trail. This program will provide information on special needs for this niche market, as well as specific suggestions and ways to reach this market. Training topics include: birders as clients, enhancing your business and community for birders, hospitality and etiquette, birding basics, and conservation practices.

This training session is targeted for southeastern North Carolina but others will be welcome based on space availability (25 participants/training). The cost is $20 for the day-long session. If you are unable to attend this training but are interested in organizing a future training session for your area, please contact the NC Birding Trail at info@ncbirdingtrail.org or call Stacy Tomas (Birder Friendly Programs Coordinator) at 919-513-7407 or Salinda Daley (NC Birding Trail Coordinator) at 919-604-5183.

Registration forms and fliers can be obtained locally at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Office in Manteo or by emailing Bonnie Strawser (bonnie_strawser@fws.gov)