Annual Events

Canoeing Family on the Bayou waving
  • Work Play Days

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    2019 Work Play Days: March 16, April 13, May 4, September 21, October 5

    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

    For reservations and more details call (985) 882-2015 or email Joanne_dolan@fws.gov

  • Breakfast With the Birds

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    Sundays February 3, 10, 17, 24 and March 10, 17, 24, 31 at 8 a.m. 

    Join refuge volunteers for a FREE, 1 ½ - 2 hour long birding tour of the Ridge Trail Boardwalk at Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. Bring your own breakfast to enjoy at the Ridge Trail pavillion at the conclusion of the program. Loaner binoculars are available upon request. Email Sandi Wicklund at sandiwicklund@gmail.com to reserve a pair today! Meets at the Bayou Sauvage Ridge Trail Pavillion.

  • Canoe Tours

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    2019 Spring Tours will be Saturdays - March 9, March 30, April 6.

    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. Preregistration is required. Registration for spring 2019 tours opens in February 2019.

    Click here for registration information.

  • Bayou Gardens Open House

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    February 23, 2019

    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. Free garden tours and presentations are provided by rangers and local camellia experts, and free refreshments are provided by Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges Inc. 

  • Bayou Trek

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    Fridays, February 8, 15 and 22 at 10 a.m. 

    Join refuge volunteers for a FREE guided 1 ½ - 2 hour long stroll of the historic grounds of the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Learn about local flora and fauna, the unique history of the Bayou Lacombe Center, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Meets at Bayou Lacombe Visitor Center.

  • Nature Explorers

    Pink camellia blossom

    Fridays, February 8 and 22 at 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 Visitor Center.

  • Wonderful Woodpeckers

    Woodpecker on a pine tree

    Thursdays, February 14 and 21 at 10 a.m. 

    Join refuge volunteers for a FREE, 1 ½ - 2 hour long 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 upon request, please email Sandi Wicklund at sandiwicklund@gmail.com to reserve a pair today! Meets at Boy Scout Road Interpretive Boardwalk.

  • Refuge Ranger Spring Break Camp

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    April 22- 26, 2019

    Connect your child to nature at Junior Refuge Ranger Spring Break 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 opens February 2018.

    For more information click here.

  • Step Outside Day

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    Saturday, April 27, 2019

    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

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    Saturday, June 8, 2019

    Calling all kids 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. Held at the Pear River Turnaround Fishing Access Site at Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge. Fishing is from 7:30 - 11 a.m.

    Registration information at this link.  

  • Beach Sweep

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    Saturday, Date TBD September 2019

    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 Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy to clean up waterways and beaches around the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. Volunteers are needed on the northshore to clean up Bayou Lacombe and the lakefront along Big Branch Marsh. For more information call (985) 882-2015 or email Becky Larkins at this link. 

  • Wild Things

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    Saturday, October 12, 2019

    A FREE family-friendly event celebrating National Wildlife Refuges Week. Activities include: a Wildlife Youth Art Exhibition, canoe and pontoon boat tours, wildflower walks, guest exhibitors, live animals, hayrides, archery, a casting pond, a kids activity tent, bird house building, food, live music, and more. Admission, parking, tours and music are all FREE. Food will be available for purchase benefiting the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges. Held at the SE Louisiana Refuge Headquarters in Lacombe. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Cajun Christmas

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    December 14, 2019

    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.

    More about Cajun Christmas at this link.