Special Events

Blue dasher male / USFWS

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge offers various special events and programs throughout the year, free of charge! The Events are designed for the entire family! Reservations may be required, to assure a place; but there is no cost.

Did you know? Calendar year 2012 celebrated the State of New Mexico's 100th birthday and the refuge's 75th anniversary! This year, visit Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge in our beautiful State of New Mexico and participate in a variety of activities! Enjoy all that our sun-filled Land of Enchantment has to offer.

Dragonfly Festival Youth Poster winning design by © Sophia Gracie Supan / USFWS

Each year, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge celebrates their annual Dragonfly Festival! This annual Event offers a variety of reserved Refuge Tours, guest speakers, various Events for the entire family to enjoy, and additional activities just for kids! Everyone is invited to attend this Fun, Family Event! All the scheduled activities are free of charge, but reservations are required for the Tours. This year's Festival is Saturday, September 7th. RESERVATION LINES ARE AT 575-625-4011 FOR THE VARIOUS GUIDED TOURS AND THE PHONE LINES ARE OPEN BY THURSDAY, AUGUST 1. More information can be found on, "Friends of Bitter Lake" website. Visit our website's Events Calendar page for links to this year's Event's Poster and Schedule of Events. We hope to see you in September, at our Refuge' Annual Dragonfly Festival, located northeast of Roswell, New Mexico.

Each year, on the Friday evening before the Saturday Festival, is a "Pre" Event as well.  Reservations, to assure a seat in the Refuge Visitor Center, for the "Pre" Event, are made by calling: 575-625-4011.

The drawing of the dragonfly picture above is by this year's Youth Poster Contest winner: © Sophia Gracie Supan, a fifth grader from Del Norte Elementary School. About seven hundred entries from local schools around the surrounding Roswell area entered the contest, and Sophia won Best of Show for this year's event. Her art will be used to advertise the 2019 Dragonfly Festival held on Saturday, September 7th.

The events listed below are a few of the nation-wide programs the refuge supports; but check the refuge's Events Calendar when posted, for more details on the exciting programs, tours, talks and walks that are regularly scheduled and hosted at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD): The nation's largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States. NPLD is typically held on the last Saturday in September. This popular event is a great volunteer opportunity and a fun way you can help Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge and other national wildlife refuges. 

National Wildlife Refuge Week Celebration: Celebrate your National Wildlife Refuge System! A week of fun wildlife-related tours, talks, and walks. This annual event is held in October. Check back to this page or the Events Calendar for details on events hosted at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge next fall in celebration of this Event!

Christmas Bird Count: From mid-December into January thousands of volunteers across the country take part in this popular citizen-science program! Join the effort at the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Call to find out details, dates and volunteer opportunities.

International Migratory Bird Day: The refuge participates in this international day of celebrating migratory birds. The education program highlights the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. 

Check back to this page or the Events Calendar when posted, for more information on what's happening on your National Wildlife Refuge!