Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
How Does the Visitor Find Out About Your Refuge?
Midwest Region, October 31, 2006
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Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge has maintained a Visitor Log in the past 20 years in which visitors can record their name, address and comment about their visit.  This is strictly voluntary and they are not required to write in the book. 

In the past 3 years, the refuge has been interested in finding out how visitors learn about Squaw Creek and has added a line in the log asking that very question in order for the refuge to improve or change its method of reaching potential visitors.

Of the more than 30,000 individuals that entered the visitor contact station, a total of 1,564 signed the log book and 669 provided comments. 

Approximately 53% of the visitors said they heard about Squaw Creek from friends, relatives or had been previous visitors.  Another 15% heard about the refuge from the media including magazines, radio, newspapers and television while 6 percent got information from the internet/web site. 

Road signs, maps, books, and groups (scouts/audubon/schools) acounted for 20% while nearly 5% was purely accidental or drive-bys.  An article in the Birds and Blooms Magazine last year accounted for a large number of visitors.  This proved to be the biggest surprise.

Therefore, it appears that the more mediums that are used, the greater opportunity a station has to reach the largest number of potential visitors.  Each one is important but word of mouth still seems to be the best means, particularly if visitors get a good impression either with the facilities or with the Service employees they encounter.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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