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National Wildlife Visitor Center
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2. Understanding Animals
At the Patuxent Research Refuge you can see wildlife in many different places. Look through the binoculars and scopes in the viewing pod, take a tram tour, or go for a walk on one of our trails to find wildlife. Bring along a field guide to help you identify what you see.

4. Looks Mean Something
Walk through the Wisdom of Wildness exhibit to find all different kinds of animals. Take a look at what kind of habitat they live in.


3. Women Pioneers
In the past, wildlife management and many other science fields have had more men working in them than women. Today, however, many of the people working in the environmental field (including at the Patuxent Research Refuge) are women. Talk to a female staff member or volunteer about working with wildlife, take a tram tour, or watch the interactive videos to learn more about what researchers do. The book shop also has several books about Rachel Carson. She was a pioneer in the field of environmental conservation.

Citizen Near & Far:

5. Calling All Helpers
Look at the Global Concerns part of the exhibit for information on problems facing our environment. Many different problems, their causes, and some solutions are discussed in this exhibit. You may want to ask an adult to help you go through the information to find what you need. Then pick one of the problems to discuss at your AUnited Nations@ meeting.

Earth & Sky:

3. Going, Going, Gone
The Land Exploitation exhibit in the Global Concerns area describes soil erosion and what can be done about it. Take the tram tour and ask the interpreter before the tour starts to point out examples of how erosion is affecting Harding Spring Pond. Walk on the trails and look near streams and on slopes for evidence of erosion.

5. Creatures of the Air

Some good places to observe flying animals on the refuge are at the viewing areas, along the trails, in the woods, from the tram, or from the viewing pod in the Wisdom of Wildness exhibit. Be quiet and still so you don=t scare the animals away.

blubirds at nestbox


1. Exploring Nature
Many living and non-living items can be found around the National Wildlife Visitor Center. Hike a trail or take the tram tour to see what you can find. Try not to touch the objects and be sure to leave them where they are.

5. Speak Up for Animals!
The On the Brink exhibit at the National Wildlife Visitor Center showcases fourteen wildlife species which are endangered. Pick one of the species to learn more about. The Delmarva fox squirrel, piping plover, and Indiana bat are endangered species that live in Maryland.

6. Helping Wildlife
Many of the suggested activities are things we do here on the refuge. Stop by to see how to do these projects and learn other ways you can help.

Outdoor Adventurer:

3. Day Hike
The Patuxent Research Refuge has many trails for you to enjoy. Stop by the front desk to get a trail map and more information.

5. Touch, Smell, Listen
The trails are a great place to use your senses. Remember to watch out for poison ivy and stay on the trails. Do not remove leaves or plants and if you do pick something up be sure to put it back where you found it.


2. Plant Rubbings
Walk on the trails to find things to make rubbings from. Be sure to stay on the trails to avoid ticks and poison ivy.

4. Leaf Hunt

There are many different kinds of trees on the refuge, and the fall can be a great time to find leaves on the ground. Be sure to put them back after you are finished looking at them.

twig with leaves

Watching Wildlife:

6. Outdoor Shopping
Use the viewing pod in the National Wildlife Visitor Center to observe different kinds of wildlife. Pay attention to where they are living and what they are eating.














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