Friends Group Support and Accomplishments

In addition to supporting the SW LA National Wildlife Refuges through member volunteerism, the Friends of Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex and Wetlands group has financially supported Refuge education, interpretive, recreation, volunteer, biological, and habitat restoration programs which have greatly improved Refuge resources  for wildlife and visitors for over a decade.  


Accomplishment Highlights

• Collaborated with other area Refuge partners to complete a $36,000 Refuge Interpretive Video.

• Supported successful securement of Congressional funds to initiate Feral Hog Management Program on Sabine NWR.

• Built and installed photo blind, custom toilet paper dispensers, kiosks, brochure boxes, donation boxes, and hunter check stations.

• Installed exhibits, spotting scopes, handicap parking bumpers, and planted native trees and shrubs.

• Sponsor annual volunteer appreciation banquet and awards.

• Furnish informative posters, brochures, and field guides for visitors and youth hunters.

• Provide tools and equipment for volunteers to safely conduct refuge clean-ups.

• Inform and/or educate thousands of Lake Area adults and children about refuges, wetlands, conservation, and wildlife at numerous venues throughout Calcasieu, Cameron, Jeff Davis and Allen Parishes.

• Provided 200 Lacassine NWR Fishermen with boat safety flags.

• Conduct Visitor Center operations and provide interpretive trail tours.  

•Assist with banding Black bellied whistling ducks.

• Conducted Fish Creel surveys.

• Collect bi-monthly traffic counter data from 27 counters.

• Constructed 25 bamboo fish habitat buckets placed in Cameron Prairie’s Fishing Festival Ponds.

• Escorted Christmas Bird Count participants on Refuges.

• Provide financial and in-kind service matches for grants supporting special events, education and interpretive projects, and habitat restoration efforts.  

• Assist with lottery hunt drawings and permit packaging.

 • Provide t-shirts for SW LA NWR volunteers.

• Represent the Service and SW LA Refuges at fairs, festivals, school, community, and library events with portable exhibits and displays.

• Develop and provide outreach materials for presentations including 20’ alligator banner, table top displays, and promotional items.

• Volunteer and refreshment support for numerous public meetings, research symposiums, volunteer and partner events, and VIP tours.

 

Eagle Scout and other Group Projects coordinated and supported by Friends Group.

•Constructed, installed, and painted 3 hunt kiosks for Sabine NWR.

•Enclosed and painted Wetland Walkway Shelter ceilings to prevent bird perching and insect nesting.

•Cleaned Lacassine Pool kiosks and interpretive panels

•Replaced Hog Island Gully Recreation Area Fishing Pier and boat launch decking.

• Cleaned and painted wildlife observation towers at Lacassine NWR.

• Cleaned and re-sealed the wildlife observation tower at Sabine NWR.

• Cleaned, painted ceiling blue, and sealed wood of the education gazebo at Cameron Prairie NWR.

• Cleaned and repainted all sign posts, pipe gates and kiosks at Cameron Prairie NWR.

• Blue Goose Trail Maintenance and Vegetation Removal

• Construction and installation of benches along Pintail Wildlife Drive Boardwalk, Visitor Center Observation Tower, and Streeter Road Observation Tower.

• Cleaned and repainted 35 sign posts and interpretive kiosks at Lacassine Pool.

• Parking Bumper Painting at Sabine Recreation areas.

• Post-hurricane debris cleanups at Sabine NWR.

• Trail vegetation clearing projects.

• Organized litter clean ups.