Learn more about annual celebrations and events tied to wildlife conservation and the National Wildlife Refuge System, including these: Earth Day, the Refuge System birthday (March 14), Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day, World Migratory Bird Day, National Public Lands Day and National Wildlife Refuge Week (the second full week in October).
Refuge System Birthday
On March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established the first Refuge System Birthday.at Pelican Island, Florida, to protect brown pelicans from slaughter by market hunters. Today, the Refuge System includes more than 560 national wildlife refuges, 38 wetland management districts and 5 marine national monuments. Refuges connect people to nature, clean our air and water, and help protect coasts against storms. There’s at least one national wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas. Learn more about the
Celebrated each spring since 1970, Earth Day is a day for taking personal action to help make the planet cleaner and healthier. Join fellow citizens in nature cleanups, plantings or restorations to help make the planet cleaner and healthier.
World Migratory Bird Day
World Migratory Bird Day celebrates and calls attention to the spectacular natural phenomenon of bird migration. In the Western Hemisphere, where the event has been celebrated since 1993, World Migratory Bird Day is generally observed during the second weekend in May. The celebration is coordinated by Environment for the Americas and sponsored by dozens of organizations that are dedicated to birds and bird conservation, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, this celebration brings out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country. NPLD is also a “Fee-Free Day”— entrance fees are waived at national wildlife refuges, national parks and other public lands.
Urban Wildlife Conservation Day
Celebrated in October on the Saturday just before National Wildlife Refuge Week, Urban Wildlife Conservation Day recognizes the 101 national wildlife refuges located in and near cities for enriching the lives of Americans and their communities. Urban refuges connect people to nature and outdoor recreation, boosting their physical and psychological well-being. Urban refuges also help local economies. America’s 101 urban refuges include refuges near Albuquerque, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Portland and San Diego and one within the city limits of Philadelphia.
National Wildlife Refuge Week
National Wildlife Refuge Week, observed the second full week of October each year, celebrates the National Wildlife Refuge System — the great network of public lands and waters that conserves and protects Americans’ precious wildlife heritage.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day - in January
- Presidents Day - in February
- Juneteenth - June 19
- Great American Outdoors Day - August 4
- National Public Lands Day - Fourth Saturday in September
- First day of National Wildlife Refuge Week - begins on Sunday of the 2nd full week of October
- Veterans Day - November 11