Connecting People with Nature
Northeast Region


Featured Programs

whooping crane

May is Magnificent Whooping Crane Month at Patuxent Research Refuge

April 30, 2014

From the discovery of the effects of DDT on wildlife, to bringing species back from the brink of extinction, Patuxent Research Refuge in Maryland has long been known for its excellence in wildlife research. One animal that owes a significant part of its recovery to Patuxent is the magnificent Whooping Crane.

To celebrate the Whooping Crane, the refuge has designated the month of May as “Magnificent Whooping Crane Month,” and scheduled a variety of activities to connect visitors to these rare and majestic birds.

Learm more here

children at Bombay Hook NWR

“Children’s Adventure Day” at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

April 25, 2014

While you may find any number of great special events for families on our national wildlife refuges, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware is offering a special day just for kids!  The refuge will have their first ever “Children’s Adventure Day” on Saturday May 3rd from 11am-3pm.  Geared to children from toddlers up 11 years old, the event will include scheduled activities such as archery, habitat hikes, and dip netting for water creatures, as well as crafts, stories, and music.

Located in Smyrna, Delaware, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge consists of hundreds of acres of upland, freshwater and salt marsh habitat that provide a haven for a multitude of resident and migratory birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects.

Learm more about the event and view the schedule of the days activities here.

full moon walk posted

Friends of Cape May Offer Full Moon Family Nature Walks

March 17, 2014

Once a month, as the full moon glows, it seems safe to venture out into the dark while the moon makes shadows. You can still smell the earth, feel the wind, hear the ocean roar, and sense the wildlife. March is the month of the Full Sap Moon, also known as the Full Worm Moon to some Native Americans. It is a time when life begins to return to the land in soft and subtle ways.

Read more here

Nature tots (ages 3-4) explore an oyster shell as they learn about critters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Masonville Cove Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership

March 14, 2014

In May 2013, Masonville Cove competed nationally to be designated as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). The Service’s Chesapeake Bay Field Office and Patuxent Research Refuge have been working with other Masonville Cove partners (the Maryland Port Administration, the National Aquarium, Living Classrooms, and the local community) for nearly two years to provide assistance with visitor services and wildlife management on the site. One of the main goals of the Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership is to make the outdoors more meaningful and accessible to urban audiences. The partnership is developing innovative ways to enable urban audiences to learn more about the Refuge system, wildlife conservation and to gain a greater appreciation for the outdoors.

Read more here

native flower garden

Slow the Flow Connects Community to Natural Resource Protection

"I am doing it for my children" says Katie Hones about her reasons for wanting to participate in the Slow the Flow Project, a program that transforms neighborhood yards into sustainable and environmentally friendly landscapes. In one year's time, Hones took her yard from being filled with mulch and plastic to becoming a certified wildlife habitat and a monarch waystation as designated by the National Wildlife Federation.

Hone created a short blog about her experience, which includes before and after photos, and a student intern at the refuge produced a short video highlighting the program and its success.

Read more here

Mr. Cormons and guests examine wildflowers along the Wildlife Loop.

New Nature Explore Classroom Video Goes Live

A new video on the Nature Explore classroom, built at the Children's Tree House Child Development Center on the campus of the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), is live. The classroom serves as a gateway for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to connect children with nature. Watch the video today!


Mr. Cormons and guests examine wildflowers along the Wildlife Loop.

Fun Wildflower ID Book Gets Kids Outside

People of all ages have a new way to identify wildflowers as they stroll around Chincoteague NWR. A new Wildflower identification book has recently been published through community partnerships and collaboration. The new book offers a fun and exciting way for families to learn about the variety of flora they see at the refuge.

Read more about this colorful and fun new project at Chincoteague NWR.

Nicole collecting data in the field. Credit: USFWS

Watershed Education Program Inspires Seventh Graders
Contributed by Maria Young, Northwoods Stewardship Center

Seventh-grade students in Brighton, VT and North Stratford, NH will soon be using their schoolyard as an additional classroom: a nature classroom! Through the generosity of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and their Nature of Learning Grant Program, the Northwoods Stewardship Center has launched the Nulhegan Watershed Conservation and Education Initiative, and these students are the direct beneficiaries.

Read more about the Nulhegan Watershed Conservation and Education Initiative

Nicole collecting data in the field. Credit: USFWS

Reflections From a Summer Intern: Working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Nicole Marcotte, a student at Saint Micheal's College in Colchester, Vermont, spent this past summer interning at the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office. Nicole eloquently describes her working experience and educational adventure working for the Service in the field of natural resource conservation.

Read Nicole’s first-hand account of her summer experience

Parker River Photo Camp. Credit: USFWS

Nature Photography Captures Youth

During a very hot and humid week in July, ten teens participated in Parker River National Wildlife Refuge’s first ever Nature Photography Camp.

Read more about the photo camp experience.

Karner blue butterfly on an ankle. Credit: USFWS

CDIP Intern's Initiation to his "Summer with the Service"

On his second day as a Career Discovery Intern with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Jamal McDonald traveled to rare Karner blue butterfly habitat restoration areas in New York State. Jamal was assigned to interview Service biologists working on the program, as well as capture video footage and photos of any butterflies.

Read about Jamal's experience and introduction to his summer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Photo by SNAP student - Sunlight shining through the branches of a tree.

Student’s Nature Photography Tells Their Story

They say a photo is worth a thousand words! And students from Buffalo, New York’s McKinley High School used nature photography to express their “words” during a field trip to Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. The “Students, Nature and Photography” (SNAP) program was held at the refuge, with help from employees from the Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, as well as members of the The Great Lakes Experience, a Friends Group affiliated with the Conservation Office.

Learn more

Multimedia contest poster

Giving the Land a Voice: A Multi-media Contest for Youth!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Wildlife Refuge Association are looking for youth ages 15-24 to tell us what they think about the future of the National Wildlife Refuge System! Last summer, USFWS and NWRA launched a year-long process called "Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation" to build a new, bold strategic vision for the National Wildlife Refuge System. We believe that youth need to be an integral part of the vision process, but we need your help to get them involved in the conversation!

Learn more and enter the contest here!

Nature Club kids playing out in the snow. Credit: USFWS

Get Outdoors: A New Prescription for Health

Health professionals near Atlantic City, New Jersey are finding new ways to help kids and families get well and stay well: They are prescribing outdoor activities for their patients.

Read more about this program

James River Ecology School students hard at work. Photo courtesy of Sandra Marr

James River Ecology School students will “Get Their Feet Wet”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the James River Association recently began their “Wet Feet” campaign to build a youth ecology school at Presquile National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. The school is being funded by donations from private foundations and individuals as well as a $125,000 challenge grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. At the James River Ecology School, students will have a fun and unique opportunity to learn about the James River and “get their feet wet.”

Read more about the James River Ecology School program

Attentive students at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. Photo Credit: Buffalo Audubon Society

New York Students Explore the “Nature of Learning"

Thanks to a close partnership and A Nature of Learning Grant, elementary students in New York will experience first - hand the importance of National Wildlife Refuges to their local community.

Read more about this exciting outdoor learning program

Observing shorebirds and turtles from the trails of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: The Fledgling Birders Institute

Kids Make a Difference in Bird Conservation

In the tradition and spirit of the century old Christmas Bird Count, the first annual “Bird Count for Kids” at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge will introduce young people to an important conservation legacy.  The Fledging Birders Institute and the Friends of the Heinz Refuge announced their joint effort for the upcoming “Winter Bird Count for Kids” (WBC4Kids) event to be held on January 8, 2011 at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, Pennsylvania.

Read The Fledgling Birders Institute press release

Kindergarted students learning about pollinators. Credit: Morgan Riffer

Kindergarten Students in Philadelphia Help Pollinators

Students at the Longstreth Elementary School in west Philadelphia will soon take part in developing a model pollinator garden at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. The program is made possible through a grant received by the Friends of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Learn more about this amazing opportunity for both the students and the Refuge.

Learn more about the pollinator grant at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Children running the Wildlife Challenge. Credit: Ed Grimes/USFWS

Take the Wildlife Challenge!

Are video games, computers or HDTV’s keeping you inside more often these days? Looking for a way to get outside, and have some fun as well?  The Wildlife Challenge Course is waiting for you!

Learn more about the Wildlife Challenge Course and how to create your own

a juvenile Blanding’s turtle sits in an aquarium partially covered by plants with it's head poking up out of the water

Students help conserve the threatened Blanding's turtle.

Science teacher, Michel Mueller, and a coterie of young scientists from the Curtis Middle School in Sudbury, Ma, spent the last year raising a pair of Blanding’s turtles (Emmy and Andy) as part of a new “head-start” program designed to give these endangered reptiles a better chance at surviving in the wild...

Read more

YCC and Americorps crews repair the landscape and continue building foundation for Underground Railroad Boardwalk

Youth Conservation Corps Provides Critical Support to National Wildlife Refuge Operations

"I enjoyed every aspect of this summer and the [YCC] program and would not trade it for any other job!" says Mallory Walker who worked as a Youth Conservation Corps leader at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.

Click here to read more about the rewarding YCC experience at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Erin and Adam Hess holding a bluebird nest

Hands-on nature! Iroquois volunteer teaches youth about Eastern bluebirds

This year, the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Inc. worked with Carl Zenger to implement the Take a Kid Along project (TAKA). Seven children from the local community, ranging in age from six to 16 tagged along with Carl throughout the summer to monitor and manage bluebird nesting boxes on the refuge.

Read more

Gregory Allan building birdhouses for the eastern bluebird

New Jersey Eagle Scout Makes a Difference for the Eastern Bluebird

Eagle Scout Gregory Allan organized his Boy Scout troop in Sparta, New Jersey to build 45 bluebird boxes for the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge.

Read more about Gregory Allan and his Boy Scout troop

2010 National Scout Jamboree Conservation Environment Area. Credit: Christopher J. Poulin/USFWS

Esprit at the Jamboree – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife joins the Boy Scouts of America for their centennial celebration

This July, 50,000 people flocked to Fort A.P. Hill in Bowling Green, Virginia, to take part in the Boy Scouts of America’s national jamboree. The organization celebrates its centennial this year.

Read about the jamboree

Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge summer interns with a 'protect wildlife habitat' sign. Credit: USFWS

Summer Interns Make a Difference

Ever wonder what it’s like to work on a National Wildlife Refuge? Student summer interns at the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia have the answer to this question.  Read about their adventures on the refuge which include surveying native bee populations, running a youth fishing day and assisting law enforcement officers.

Read the summer interns' newsletters

YCC Students removing water chestnut in canoes. Credit: Maddie List/USFWS

Youth Conservation Corps Crew Has Fun While Helping the Environment

A group of teenagers that make up one of two Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crews at the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge set out in canoes during the summer of 2010 to help remove invasive water chestnut plants from Oxbow Lake in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Their work is important because if left untouched, this plant could spread and cause severe damage to native plants and animals.

Read more about the Youth Conservation Corps and invasive water chestnut

Kids in waders looking to catch fish in the stream with a net. Credit: Gillian Ball/USFWS

Schoolchildren Help Recover Atlantic Salmon

The Atlantic salmon, previously extinct in the Connecticut River, is getting by with a little help from its friends.

Read the article to learn about how a fourth grade class from Quarry Hill Community School in Monson, Massachusetts helps study and raise Atlantic salmon.

Read more about the Atlantic Salmon Egg Rearing Program

CIP Interns measure water salinity. Credit: Lamar Gore/USFWS

Internship Program Connects Youth with Nature

Young people from around the country are getting a first-hand experience working in conservation and natural resource jobs.  In its third year, the Conservation Internship Program (CIP) puts college students from diverse backgrounds to work at National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries throughout the northeast.

Read more about this innovative program, helping young people leave their legacy for the future of conservation.

Read more about CIP

Students canoeing at John Heinz NWR. Credit: Mike E. McMenamin

Earthforce Makes a Difference at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Young people from the Philadelphia area have made an important contribution at the John Heinz National Wildlife, while at the same time are learning valuable lessons about the natural world. Earthforce, a group of dedicated young people, volunteered their time to help combat invasive species at the refuge and enjoy some time outside connecting with natural world. 

Read more about this special group of young people and their visit to the refuge.

Read more about Earthforce

Wild karner blue butterfly.

Bio-Buddy Teams of Students Help the Endangered Karner Blue Butterfly

“The most important thing is to remove roots and rocks from the planting hole.  It’s important to dig a hole deep enough for the lupine’s long tap root:” Fifth grade students in New Hampshire give instructions on how to plant lupine, New Jersey tea and yarrow seedlings as they take part in the Kids for Karner program.  Read more about this collaborative effort between The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state of New Hampshire and school students to save the endangered and rare Karner blue butterfly.

Read more

Last updated: May 13, 2014