One of the most important events the refuge hosts every year is Rio Reforestation. This popular event draws volunteers from across the Lower Rio Grande Valley who spend a half day helping plant native trees and shrubs on the refuge. Because 95% of the habitat in the Valley has been cleared, this is especially important work! To date, volunteers have planted nearly 200,000 seedlings on nearly 620 acres of the refuge. Rio Reforestation 2015 - CANCELLED THIS YEAR DUE TO HEAVY RAINSTo: Teachers, students, parents, scouting organizations and the general public.What: 1,000 volunteers are needed to plant seedlings at the Ranchito tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Cameron County. Please bring your own shovel, work clothes, gloves and sun screen. Food and refreshments will be provided.When: Saturday, October 31, 2015 8am-12pm. NOTE TO PUBLIC- THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO HEAVY RAINS SATURATING THE SITE AREA. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND HOPE TO SEE YOU NEXT YEAR FOR THIS EVENT
Why: Volunteers will plant trees and shrubs on 21 acres of refuge land on the tract Ranchito in Brownsville.
Directions: From the Expressway, the exit is FM732. From Brownsville, you exit and turn left or south onto FM732. From Harlingen, you exit and turn right or south onto FM 732. From there, you stay on FM 732 south to FM 1577 (about 1 1/4 miles from the Expressway). At the FM 732/FM 1577 intersection (blinking light), turn left onto FM 1577 and proceed 3 miles until you get to Rice Tract Road. From there, you turn left and proceed on Rice Tract Road for 6/10 mile to the field entrance on the left.
Contact: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at (956)784-7500.
Forms for pre-registering for the event. Rio Reforestation OF301A VSA, Rio Reforestation Of301b VSA Group Form, Rio Reforestation Sign up sheets for participants 18 yrs old and over, Rio Reforestation Student (under 18 yrs old) Sign up Sheet Group leaders must fill out form Of301a and the students will need to sign their name on the sign up sheet for students under 18 years old. Turn in all forms at the registration table. If participants are over 18 and signing up as a group OF301b form will need to be filled out by group leader and the accompanying over 18 signup sheet with listed participants and handed in at registration table. Note: any minors (under 18 years old will need a OF301a form filled out.Please check back to this site for more details or visit the Friends of the Wildlife Corridor.
The following are some of the national events the refuge supports ever year:
National Wildlife Refuge Week Celebration: Celebrate your National Wildlife Refuge System! A week of fun wildlife-related tours, talks and walks. This event is typically held the second full week of October. Check back to this page or the Events Calendar for details.Christmas Bird Count: From mid-December into January thousands of volunteers across the country take part in this popular citizen-science program! Join the effort at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. Call to find out details, dates and volunteer opportunities. International Migratory Bird Day: On the second Saturday of May Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge participates in this international day of celebrating migratory birds. The education program highlights the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
National Public Lands Day (NPLD): The nation's largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States. NPLD is typically held on the last Saturday in September but check back for details. This popular event is a great volunteer opportunity and a fun way you can help Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.
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The ocelot is a small wild cat that is a management priority for the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Restoring and protecting habitat benefits this and many other species found in this biologically rich region.