Events and Programs

Canoeing Family on the Bayou waving

All dates and activities subject to change due to Covid-19 concerns.

  • Homeschool Day

    A group of owlets looking up

    Dates TBD 9 - 11 a.m. 

    Join us for Homeschool Friday as we explore the natural world and engage in hands on activities. Everyone is welcome, but programs are geared for homeschoolers ages 12 and under. All homeschoolers must be accompanied by an adult through the duration of the program. This program occurs mud, rain, or shine. Meets at Bayou Lacombe Center.

  • Nature Explorers

    Children on trail being Nature Explorers

    Dates TBD. 9:30 a.m.

    Join refuge staff for this FREE, 45-minute long fun-filled educational program for young children 0 – 6 years old. Learn about native animals, make nature themed crafts, go on a short nature walk, and more! Children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the duration of the program. Meets at the Bayou Lacombe Center.


  • Wonderful Woodpeckers

    Red-cockaded Woodpecker on the side of a pine tree

    Dates TBD. 10 a.m.

    Join refuge volunteers for a FREE, guided bird walk at Boy Scout Road Boardwalk at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. Learn about the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker and view an active nesting cluster. Loaner binoculars are available on a first come, first served basis. Meet at the Boy Scout Road trailhead for this 1 ½ - 2 hour walk.

  • Bayou Trek


    Dates TBD. 10 a.m. 

    Meet at Bayou Lacombe Visitor Center and join a refuge volunteer for a FREE guided stroll of the historic grounds of the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Learn about the unique history of the Bayou Lacombe Center, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and local flora and fauna.

  • Work Play Days

    Volunteers at work play day

    Work/Play Days dates: Saturdays TBD

    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. With events held at our Lacombe Headquarters 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, when offered.


  • Maintenance Mondays

    Two girls raking leaves

    Dates TBD. 8 – 10 a.m. 

    Join the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc. on the 1st and 3rd Mondays to assist with light grounds maintenance and small projects at the Southeast Louisiana Refuges Headquarters in Lacombe. There is always something to do to help your National Wildlife Refuges, and this is a good way to meet other Friends members and community volunteers. Light snacks and water are provided. Rain, mud or shine. 

    For more information email Doug at this link.

  • Canoe Tours

    A group of canoeists on the bayou

    Dates TBD. Saturdays 

    Our free naturalist led canoe tours offer a chance to explore the natural and cultural history of Bayou Lacombe launching from our Southeast Louisiana Refuges Complex Headquarters in Lacombe. Canoe Tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. All paddling equipment is provided. Registration for spring 2021 tours opens January 29 at 8 a.m.

    Click here for registration information.

  • Junior Ranger Spring Break Camp

    Children wearing firefighting clothes laying a hose on the ground

    Date TBD

    Connect your child to nature at Junior Refuge Ranger Spring Camp. We'll introduce your youngster to nature and stewardship through exploration and discovery. Canoeing, hiking, birding, nature play, wildlife observation, arts and crafts, and more are part of this adventurous day camp. For ages 8 - 10. Registration opening TBD. 

  • Step Outside Day

    People riding in a pontoon boat

    Date TBD 

    Held at the Sherburne Wildlife Area Headquarter near Krotz Springs, the family-friendly Step Outside Day introduces young people to outdoor recreation activities. Pontoon boat tours, canoe paddling, archery, hands-on nature activities, bird house building and more! Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge cosponsors Step Outside Day with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. All activities are free.

  • Youth Fishing Rodeo

    family at youth fishing rodeo

    Saturday June 12, 2021

    Calling all kids from ages four to twelve! Whether you're new to fishing or an experienced angler, join us for the Bogue Chitto Youth Fishing Rodeo. Prizes are awarded in children's age categories, for categories of fish, as well as overall biggest fish.

  • Beach Sweep

    A group of volunteers on lakeshore at Beach Sweep

    Saturday, September 19-20, 2020

    Help keep your water and wetlands clean! Each year, Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges partners with the Pontchartrain Conservancy and the Ocean Conservancy to clean up waterways and beaches around the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. Volunteers are needed on the northshore to clean up the lakefront near Lacombe along Big Branch Marsh. More about the 2020 Beach Sweep at this link.

  • Youth Art Contest

    Child art sleeping red fox

    Southeast Louisiana Refuges Complex will celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week October 11-17, 2020 by hosting the annual Youth Art Contest associated with Wild Things. K-12th grade students from across the state are encouraged to participate in this fun opportunity to win prizes. Contest awards will be presented via a virtual awards ceremony that will be held in October. More information at this link.

  • Wild Things

    A father helping his young son to look through binoculars


    Acting out of an abundance of caution and following guidance from the Center of Disease Control, we are postponing Wild Things, which was scheduled for October of 2020. Our actions are consistent with actions undertaken by other community organizations. We understand that people across the community will miss this event; however, we are committed to doing our part to ensure public safety and to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will reschedule when it is prudent to do so. 

  • Cajun Christmas

    Little girl on Santa's lap

    Date TBD

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

  • Bayou Gardens Open House

    Camellia display on a table

    Date TBD 

    From 1935 through 1956 the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex 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 features free guided garden and site history tours, nature-friendly gardening workshops and presentations. Free refreshments are provided by Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges Inc.