Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Free Programs
Call 321-861-5601 for reservations and information.
Nature Photography by Dale Nichols
Visitor Center Auditorium
April & May
A collection of Dale's Florida nature-based photographs will be on display in the visitor center auditorium during regular operating hours in April and May. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork will be donated to the Merritt Island Wildlife Association.
Florida Panther Program
Mondays, April 13, 20, & 27 at 1 pm
Learn about the endangered Florida Panther through a photo presentation and props. Call 321-861-5601 for reservations.
Saturday, April 4 at 12 pm
View a photo presentation to learn to identify butterflies. Then assist volunteers andstaff with conducting a butterfly survey. No experience necessary. Bring water, snack and insect repellent and wear closed shoes and long pants. Call 321-861-5601 for reservations.
All About Alligators
Thursdays, April 2, 9 & 30 at 2 pm
Learn about the natural history of this intriguing reptile by watching a photo presentation and handling alligator bio-facts. April 9 and 30 there will be a live alligator at the program. Call 321-861-5601 for reservations.
Pine Flatwoods Hike
Fridays, April 10 & 24 at 9 am
Take a guided walk along a 1 mile loop trail that travels through pine flatwoods habitat and learn about the wildlife, plants, and management of the area. Recommended: Wear closed sturdy walking/hiking shoes, long pants, and bring insect repellent and drinking water. Call 321-861-5601 for reservations.
Nature Driving Tour
Thursdays, April 2, 9, & 30 at 9 am
Saturdays, April 4, 11, 18 & 25 at 9 am
Enjoy a narrated driving tour in the refuge shuttle bus and learn about refuge wildlife, plants and resource management. Take a ride on refuge roads, visit the Manatee Observation Deck and look for Florida Scrub Jays. Space is limited so please call 321-861-5601 for reservations. Loaner binoculars are available.
Songbird Migration Walk
Saturday, April 11 at 9 am
Take a walk with a refuge volunteer to look and listen for migrant songbirds. Meet at the refuge visitor center, then caravan in your own car to the hiking trail. Bring water and insect repellant. Call 321-861-5601 to make reservations. Loaner binoculars are available.
All About Manatees
Wednesday, April 15 at 12:30 pm
Watch a narrated photo presentation and handle manatee bones and skulls to learn more about this endangered animal. Then caravan to the observation deck to possibly see wild manatees. Call 321-861-5601 to make reservations.
Saturday, April 18 from 8 am to 12 pm
Meet at the entrance road to Bair's Cove Boat Ramp at Haulover Canal located on SR 3. Water, trash bags, and latex gloves will be provided. Wear long pants, closed toe shoes, sun hat and bring insect repellent and sunscreen. Call 321-861-5601 to register. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and have a signed refuge parental permission form.
Shorebird Photo Presentation & Caravan Tour
Saturday, April 25 at 1 pm
Learn to identify sandpipers and plovers by viewing a photo presentation and then follow a guide in your own vehicle to observe them in the wild. Call 321-861-5601 for reservations.
Free Family Nature Activities
Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm
Stop by the refuge visitor center and pick up a clip board, pencil and a copy of the Nature Bingo Activity Sheet during regular visitor center hours. Take a walk on the1/4 mile visitor center boardwalk loop and complete the activity and get a certificate and post card. Visitor centeroperating hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm.
GPS Family Scavenger Hunt
Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm
Reserve the GPS Family Backpack Kit that includes a GPS and scavenger hunt questions. Use the GPS to find locations at the refuge and answer the scavenger hunt questions. Complete the activity and receive a postcard and certificate. Call 321-861-5601 to reserve the backpack during regular visitor center operating hours. A deposit is required to borrow the GPS unit.
March Beginning Bird Watch Tours at 9 am
Saturdays: 7, 14, 21, & 28
Tuesdays: 3, 10, 17, 24, & 31
Thursdays: 5, 12, 19, & 26
Join a refuge volunteer for a guided three hour driving tour in the refuge shuttle bus to learn how to identify a variety of bird species. A fee of $5.00 per person, children under age 16 are free. Cash or check only. Space is limited so please call 321-861-5601 for reservations.