Events and Programs

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

  • Youth Fishing Rodeo

    Young boy holding a fish at the fishing rodeo

    June 12-13, 2021

    Calling all kids from ages 15 and under! Did you ever think you could win a fishing event without paying an entry fee or weighing or measuring a fish? Here's your chance! The Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex and the Friends of Louisiana Refuges, Inc. are hosting a Virtual Youth Fishing Rodeo during Louisiana free fishing weekend June 12-13, 2021, and the rules are simple!
    Learn more and find out how to enter here.

  • Homeshcool Day

    A group of owlets looking up

    Dates TBD. 9 - 11 a.m.

    Join us a Homeschool Friday as we explore Birds of Prey through our Raptor Adaptor program. 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. Meets at the Bayou Lacombe Center.

  • Nature Explorers

    Children with ranger exploring outdoors

    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.


  • 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. 

  • Breakfast with the Birds


    Dates TBD. 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 pavilion at the conclusion of the program. Loaner binoculars are available upon request. Please email Sandi Wicklund at this link to reserve a pair today. Meets at the Bayou Sauvage Ridge Trail pavilion.


  • Work/Play Days

    People helping with landscaping at Visitor Center

    Dates TBD. Saturdays.

    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.


  • Canoe Tours

    The bow of a canoe in the marsh

    Dates TBD.

    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. 


  • Junior Ranger Spring Break Camp

    Boy on a boat looking through binoculars

    Dates 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.

  • Beach Sweep

    Girl helping to pick up litter at a refuge

    Sept. 19-20, 2020

    Help us keep our water and habitats clean and healthy! We'll partner with the Pontchartrain Conservancy to clean up waterways and beaches around the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. Volunteers are needed to help clean areas at Bayou Sauvage, Big Branch Marsh, and Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuges. 

    More about the 2020 Beach Sweep at this link.

    Learn More
  • 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

    Children at a table exploring owl pellets


    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.

  • Step Outside Day

    Kids fishing at Step Outside Day

    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.

  • Cajun Christmas

    Children with Santa

    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

    A camellia flower

    Date TBD

    From 1935 through 1956 our SE Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters property in Lacombe was a horticultural attraction called Bayou Gardens. In its prime, Bayou Gardens bloomed with over 400 varieties of camellias and azaleas. Enjoy the gardens in spring bloom at our annual garden open house. The Open House features free guided garden and site history tours, nature-friendly gardening workshops and presentations. Refreshments are provided by Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges Inc.