Since its establishment in 1972, the refuge has worked with area educators to provide educational opportunities for their students. Our programs provide teachers with the information, skills, and resources to incorporate the environment into their curriculum and to utilize the refuge as an outdoor classroom as well as engage students in hands-on activities that inspire and connect them directly to nature. "Connecting People to Nature" is a national program and priority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The refuge environmental education program consists of the following:
The refuge offers activity guides, videos, and reference materials on the environment to assist educators in preparing classroom or field lessons at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.
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The refuge protects a variety of habitats for birds in the highly urbanized landscape of greater Philadelphia. It has been designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. While most of the 300 plus avian species identified at the refuge utilize it as a migratory stopover, more than 80 species have been recorded nesting on the refuge over the years. Several species are also state listed as either threatened or endangered species or species of state or national management concern.