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Director's Corner

Meet Service Director Dan Ashe.

Fostering a Connection in Providence

Today, I was excited to take part in a ceremony to designate one of our Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships, this time in Providence, Rhode Island.

These partnerships, which build on local conservation efforts and neighborhood networks, strive to engage urban residents, both young and old, in real connections with nature.


The Roger Williams Park Zoo Teacher Institute engages teachers.

They provide a way to reach beyond the traditional boundaries of our National Wildlife Refuges to connect with urban communities across the country.

This approach recognizes more than ever that no one can handle all conservation by ourselves – and that we all have to work together with partners.


Bringing Nature to Las Vegas and Other Cities

Today I am at the grand opening of the new Desert National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Nevada.

Desert NWR

Work goes on at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. Credit: USFWS

It is a spectacular new building, built with revenue generated by the sale of public land … not from the pockets of the average taxpayers.

The 11,000-square-foot visitor center features exhibits, two classrooms/meeting rooms, offices and a bookstore. It is also loaded with environmentally friendly design elements, and the refuge is applying for the highest certification for sustainability from the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED Platinum.

What is great about Desert NWR and its new visitor center is that it is only 23 miles from the city of Las Vegas, a city with about 600,000 residents. The largest refuge in the lower 48 states, just a stone’s throw from the 31st largest city in the United States? Amazing.