We are Jean and Ray. Each week we volunteer about a half a day at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. Jean is re-claiming the gardens on the grounds of the Refuge headquarters on Rt 565 in Vernon, NJ. On alternate weeks I mow the Dagmar Dale Nature Trail. The other week, I mow the lawn around the main office.
Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, what a treasure! It is a place to hike, observe, or just relax. It is a place to share with others who enjoy the wildlife, the wildflowers, birds and butterflies; or a place to be alone with your thoughts. We are so fortunate to have the Refuge in our area.
Our local Wildlife Refuge presents us with a precious opportunity. An opportunity to restore and preserve a unique habitat. An opportunity to insure the migratory species have a place to rest and feed on their long journey home. Because of the Refuge, we have the opportunity to learn more about the world we live in and the creatures we share it with.
Why do we volunteer? Because we have been given the opportunity!
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The federally threatened bog turtle can be found in wetlands throughout the Wallkill River valley and the Papakating Creek Watershed. Endangered by habitat loss and poaching (the diminutive turtle is favored among illegal pet traders), this turtle is an important focus of the refuge’s conservation work. Due to their listed status, refuge public use areas are located away from sensitive bog turtle habitats.