A primary purpose when establishing a new urban refuge is to foster environmental awareness and outreach programs, and to develop an informed and involved citizenry that will support fish and wildlife conservation. Urban refuges will provide public use benefits associated with fish and wildlife resources that include, but are not limited to, bird watching, fishing, scientific research, environmental education, open space in an urban setting, and protection of cultural resources.
Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge will promote opportunities for volunteers and develop community appreciation and public support for the refuge. For example, as the refuge develops, refuge staff will work with school districts and teachers to develop an environmental education program featuring unique species or communities at the refuge.
A refuge manager is in the process of being hired. The new refuge manager will be stationed at the Prairie Valley Visitor Center in McHenry County Conservation District’s Glacial Park. Once in place, the refuge manager will be a local point of contact for citizens wishing to become involved with the refuge as it develops. In the interim, the Regional Office contact for Hackmatack is Tom Larson, Chief, Division of Conservation Planning (612-713-5430); email@example.com.
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Blanding's turtle features a domed shell and a yellow throat and chin giving the appearance that it has a permanent smile.