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Annual Events

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    February - September

    Get your boots on the ground at one of our volunteer service days. The “Work” portion might include clearing trails and general garden maintenance, ending at noon. A light lunch is provided by the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges Inc. Then the “Play” starts after lunch with a canoe outing on Bayou Lacombe. A perfect way to get outdoors, meet new people, and make a difference for stewardship! All equipment is provided and new volunteers are always welcome. 

    9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. includes optional canoe tour.

    Upcoming Work/Play Days 2017: Saturday, Feb. 11, March 11, April 8, May 13, Sept. 23

    For reservations and more details call (985) 882-2015 or email




    These free canoe tours explore the transition of a coastal bayou from forest to marshland, and offer a chance to see native wildlife. Offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Preregistration required. Spring 2017 Canoe Dates: Saturdays March 4 and 25, April 1.




    February 18, 2017 Date 

    Visit the lovely gardens at our headquarters with Rangers and garden experts! From 1935 through 1956 the headquarters property was a horticultural attraction called Bayou Gardens. In its prime, the garden bloomed with over 400 varieties of camellias and azaleas. The open house is a collaborative effort with local camellia societies. Free garden tours and presentations are provided by local experts, and refreshments are provided by Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges Inc. 


    Bear Fest

    April 1, 2017

    Celebrate the Louisiana Black Bear at this festival in Franklin, Louisiana. Join us at a youth education area that explores the unique features of our native bear. Or sign up to take a FREE kayak, canoe, or pontoon boat tour of Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge. Food, music, activities, and exhibitors come together at this unique festival.

    Learn More

    Step Outside Day

    Saturday, May 6, 2017

    Build a bird house, learn archery or target shooting, take a pontoon boat tour, or paddle a canoe! All of these activities and more are on tap at Step Outside Day!  Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge cosponsors Step Outside Day with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This annual event is a big draw for kids and promotes youth outdoor education and stewardship. 



    Saturday, June 10, 2017

    Calling all kid from ages four to twelve! Get your fish on at the "Bogue Chitto Youth Fishing Rodeo." The rodeo is sponsored by the Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuges in collaboration with Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges Inc., and is supported by many community partners.

    Learn More

    Summer Camp Observation

    April 17 - 21, 2017

    Junior Refuge Ranger Spring Break Camp, held at the Southeast Louisiana Refuge Headquarters in Lacombe, promotes outdoor skills and stewardship through exploration and discovery. Canoeing, hiking, birding, forestry, biology, orienteering, firefighting and much more are part of this adventurous week. Registration opens in March. Check back here later for more details!


    Beach Sweep

    Coming in September 2017

    Celebrate National Public Lands Day at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and with the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges Inc.! We'll partner with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation to clean up waterways and beaches around the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. Volunteers are needed on the lake's northshore to clean up Bayou Lacombe and the lakefront along Big Branch Marsh.

    For more information call (985) 882-2025 or write to:

    Learn More


    Saturday, October 14, 2017

    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Join us at our headquarters in Lacombe, Louisiana for this FREE fun family event.  Activities include: a Wildlife Youth Art Exhibition, canoe and pontoon boat tours, wildflower walks, guest exhibitors, live animals, hayrides, a casting pond, a kids activity tent, bird house building, food, and live music. Admission, parking, tours and music are all FREE.

    Learn More


    December 2017

    Each year Santa and Mrs. Claus make a special visit to the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center. Kids of all ages are invited for story time, cookies, and hot cocoa. To mark this special occasion, photos with Santa are provided at no cost.

    For more information call (985) 882-2025 or email:

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2017
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