Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Tishomingo NWR - Friends Group touts major accomplishments for refuge
Southwest Region, May 11, 2006
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Art Contest in support of Refuge Week
Art Contest in support of Refuge Week - Photo Credit: n/a
Chickasaw Festival archery program
Chickasaw Festival archery program - Photo Credit: n/a
Rain Crow Photo Blind & Trees Board Members
Rain Crow Photo Blind & Trees Board Members - Photo Credit: n/a

  The Tishomingo N.W.R. friends group TREES (Tishomingo Refuge Ecology and Education Society) first year of existence touts a major list of accomplishments and lofty goals for the future.

TREES Accomplishments

  • Built and placed 52 predator proof Eastern Bluebird houses in the “edge” habitat of the refuge. The houses have been used by several species of birds including Eastern Bluebird, Prothonotary Warbler, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, and House Sparrow.
  • Rain Crow Photo Blind Grant. TREES partnered with the North American Nature Photographers Association to develop an accessible photo blind at Rain Crow Pond. The blind has three viewing openings with an accessible bench.
  • Assisted with partnerships for Eagle Cove Tower Project. TREES assisted with developing a partnership with the Johnston County Commissioners to raise the Eagle Cove Tower roadway that was frequently inundated during peak viewing times of the year. The Johnston County Commissioners raised the elevation of the roadway five feet and widened it to twenty-four feet. The project saved the refuge approximately $50,000.
  • Hosted International Migratory Bird Day at the Refuge. TREES hosted a beginning and intermediate birding workshop on April 29th which included an avian banding demonstration by master bander Dr. Doug Wood.
  • Hosted a Sierra Club outdoor event including bird banding, stream ecology, refuge ecology, and a Washita River kayaking tour.
  • Hosted a mini Science Camp for Tishomingo Middle School. TREES supported the Oklahoma Gear Up Program by hosting the science camp for Tishomingo Middle School. The students learned about water quality, aquatic invertebrates, and identification of flora and fauna.
  • Sponsored the Youth Art Contest for National Wildlife Refuge Week. TREES provided art judges and $500 worth of prizes for a K-12 art contest that drew approximately 500 participants from area schools. The program promotes awareness of the refuge and the mission of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Historical Renovation Project development with the Johnston County Historical Society. TREES developed a partnership and subsequent MOU with the Johnston County Historical Society and Tishomingo NWR on December 19th, 2005. The partnership is now in the grant writing stage to renovate the first Washita Farm historical concrete home into a refuge welcome center and museum.
  • Developing a plan for a new two mile wildlife viewing trail in support of the refuge’s Public Use Management Plan. TREES has developed plans and is applying for grants to develop the Goose Pen Trail along with an observation platform, photo blind, and wildflower trail for the area.
  • Hosted a cookout for community leaders to involve them in refuge support. TREES hosted a hamburger luncheon and refuge tour to involve fifty key civic leaders in the support of the refuge and its public use programs.
  • Hosted two highly successful Bird ID Workshops at the refuge in the first quarter of 2006.
  • Developed a partnership with the Chickasaw Nation and the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce to replace $24,000 worth of signs on the refuge. TREES partnered with the local Chamber of Commerce and the Chickasaw Nation to replace deteriorating signs throughout the refuge and at all entrance points to facilitate public awareness and to direct visitors to public access points.
  • Hosting the Fishing Derby and providing prizes for Tishomingo NFH. TREES has currently raised several thousands of dollars for the June 3rd fishing derby at Tishomingo NFH and will cook hotdogs, provide drinks, and furnish prizes for approximately 1500 visitors.
  • Developed an MOU with Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery to provide friends group support to the hatchery. TREES signed the MOU with the hatchery on May 11th at the refuge.
  • Will assist with the Wage Grade Professional Workshop luncheon on July 20th, 2006.
  • TREES will celebrate their first anniversary on July 14th this year.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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