Upcoming Events

Throughout the year, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge hosts a variety of nature-based programs led by staff, volunteers, and partners. More information about refuge programs can be found by visiting the refuge Facebook page, or calling the main office at (978) 465-5753.

Registration & Capacity

All refuge programs are FREE, but space may be limited. Registration is required for all programs, unless otherwise indicated. Please send an email to parkerriver@fws.gov, write the name of the program on the subject line, and write your first and last name in the body of the email. Your registration is not confirmed unless and until you receive an email from refuge staff.   

Programs conducted in the visitor center auditorium are limited to 75 attendees. Unless indicated otherwise, seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission of additional attendees will stop when capacity has been reached. 

Program cancellations, whether due to inclement weather or insufficient enrollment, will be communicated via email notification and on the refuge’s Facebook page.

May Programs

Stories in the Garden

Wednesday May 11 ; 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join us for stories read by our local Newburyport children's librarian. Stay for fun crafts and a self-guided walk to see the animals at the Spender-Pierce-Little Farm. No need to preregister; simply show up! Meet at the pollinator garden in front of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge visitor center, located at 6 Plum Island Turnpike in Newburyport. Brought to you by Parker River National Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, in partnership with the Newburyport Public Library and Historic New England.

Bicycle Tour of Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Monday May 16 ; 9:00 - 11:30 am

Join a refuge ranger for a behind the scenes tour, by bicycle, of Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, located in Newington, NH. Participants will have an opportunity to visit areas of the refuge that are not normally open to the public. See a diversity of habitats and learn how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is managing this very special landscape for wildlife. Cyclists will travel over generally level terrain on a combination of paved and unpaved surfaces. The distance covered will depend on how many stops are made and how much time is spent at each stop. Tour duration will be about 2 hours. Appropriate for adults and children age 16 or older. Each participant must provide a either a hybrid or mountain bike, helmet, and water bottle. Insect repellant, sun block, binoculars and/or a camera are optional (provided these items can be safely stowed while biking). Meet the ranger in the Great Bay NWR parking lot 15 minutes before the tour start time. Limited to 10 participants. Preregistration required.  To register, send an email to parkerriver@fws.gov.  Write the program name and date on the subject line and include your complete name in the body of the email.

Directions to Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge can be found here.

Whip-poor-will Walk

Friday May 13 & Saturday May 14 ; 7:30 pm
Friday May 20, Saturday May 21, Saturday May 28 & Sunday May 29 ; 7:45 pm

Have you even heard a strange bird singing in the background of a movie and wondered what it was? You may have been hearing the song of the Whip-poor-will. Join Nancy Landry, refuge volunteer and avid birder, for an evening of listening to the song of the Whip-poor-will and other night time birds. Participants will meet at the Hellcat Parking Lot of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge (see times above).  Dress appropriately for weather conditions. Preregistration is required; enrollment limited to 15 people.  Register by sending an email to parkerriver@fws.gov.  Please write the name and date of the program on the subject line AND provide your full name in the body of the email.

Guided Birding Walk along Hellcat Boardwalk Trail

Saturday May 21 ; 9:00 - 11:00 am

Join a refuge ranger for a birding walk along a section of the Hellcat Boardwalk Trail.  Learn about the habits and habitats of birds that can be seen and heard on the refuge at this time of year.  Bring bug spray and binoculars.  The “new and improved” boardwalk is completely wheelchair accessible.  Meet at the Hellcat Parking Lot (Lot 4).  Preregistration is required; enrollment limited to 15 people. Register by sending an email to parkerriver@fws.gov.  Please write the name and date of the program on the subject line AND provide your full name in the body of the email.