Summer Events

Summer 2018
Environmental Education (BIG PROMO)
Spend some time exploring with us during one of our summer programs!


Registration for summer programs begins Sunday, April 15th. Please be sure to leave a message if we are unable to answer the phone at the time of your call. We will answer messages in the order they are received.

Registration is required for summer programs. Registration begins Sunday, April 15th.


Nature Explorers: A five-day program for children ages 10-13. We will discover how to fish, identify animals and protect wildlife. At the end of the five weeks participants will receive a Junior Refuge Manager patch, a nature journal and a poster. Throughout the week participants will also complete arts and crafts projects, such as sea turtle deccorations and pinecone birdfeeders. This program will have two sessions - Session 1: June 18-22 (9:00am-12:00pm); Session 2: August 13-17 (9:00am-12:00pm). Call (757)301-7329 ext.3106 to register.

Wildlife Adventures: During Wildlife Adventures children ages 6-10 will hike along the beach and Back Bay, learning to observe their environment using binoculars and field guides. We will discover what sea turtles eat, what hidden animals live at the refuge and how we can protect our environment. This camp will run on July 6, July 13, August 3 and August 10,  beginning at 9:00am and ending at 1:00pm. Spots are limited, call (757)301-7329 ext.3106 to register.

Nature Journaling: A NEW program at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Start your journaling experience with us as we use writing and drawing to explore and document our natural world. No experience is necessary. All participants will receive a nature journal to take home and continue the journey through journaling. Sessions will be held for children (ages 10-15) on Tuesday, July 17 and Friday, August 31 at 10:00am and for adults (ages 16+) on Friday, August 24 at 5:00pm. Call to sign up at (757)301-7329 ext.3106.

Butterflies!: A NEW program at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Local Master Gardeners will share their experiences raising caterpillars and teaching us the importance of these special pollinators to our environment. Live caterpillars will be present. Dates coming soon - stay tuned! 

Fishing Clinics: The Great Bridge Fisherman's Association will host free saltwater fishing clinics for children ages 7-15. An adult must accompany participating children. Clinics run 9:00am to 12:00pm on June 28, July 12, July 26 and August 9. Call (757)301-7329 ext.3106 to register. Spots fill quickly - please call early!

Evening Tram Tours: A special tram tour around Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. This trip will cover the grounds of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and focus on wildlife and history. Tours will run on Fridays from June 8 - August 16 and on Thursday, August 23 and Thursday, August 30. Seats are limited so call ahead to register for this event at (757)301-7329 ext.3106.

Struggles in the Sand: The life of a sea turtle begins with a struggle in the sand. Explore with us the difficulties faced by these spectacular creatures as they begin life's journey. This free one-hour family program will be offered at 2:00pm on July 5, August 2 and August 30.

Art Workshops: Back by popular demand! A talented local artist will host workshops for children ages 7-15 at Back Bay NWR to help young nature lovers explore wildlife through painting. Workshops will be held at 2:00pm on June 28, July 12, July 26 and August 9. All supplies are provided, but are limited. Call (757)301-7329 ext.3106 to register.

Photo Workshops: Join a local photographer to learn the basics of nature photography at the wildlife refuge. Any camera, from a cell phone to a DSLR are welcome. Sessions will be held at 9:00am on Saturday, July 7 (focus on the bay environment), Saturday, August 4 (focus on the beach environment) and  Saturday, September 1 (focus on the bay environment. Please call to sign up at (757)301-7329 ext.3106.

Back Bay Saturdays: Every Saturday from June 2 to September 1 the refuge will host a special event. Experiences will vary, from guided hikes to photography workshops to freshwater fishing. Check the Back Bay Saturdays page for details!

Blue Goose Express: The Back Bay Restoration Foundation, a local non-profit, runs tram tours on the Blue Goose Express tram regularly from April - October. From April 1 - Memorial Day and Labor Day - October 31 the tram runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; from Memorial Day - Labor Day the tram runs every day of the week. There is one trip a day, beginning at 9:00am and returning at 1:00pm. No reservations are taken for the tram, we recommend that riders arrive by 8:45am. The cost is $8/adults, $6/seniors and children.`

There is no cost for the summer programs (except the Blue Goose Express) but a $5.00 entrance fee to the wildlife refuge does apply (a $15.00 year-long pass is also available; all America the Beautiful passes are also honored).