We are now taking reservations for group field trips to enhance our environmental education programming. Leaders can choose from self-guided trips or a combination of Ranger and teacher-led programs, Mon-Fri. In order to accommodate schools and regular visitors, we ask that groups use our new reservation tool to schedule time in the Visitor Center or Environmental Education building. This will allow all visitors to get the most out of their trips. Ranger-led programs are limited to a single class of ~ 30 students and typically last about an hour. After which you are welcome to explore the refuge on your own. Larger groups can request a 10-15 minute short welcome presentations. 

The Friends of the Wichita's (FOW) operates the nature store inside the visitor center, if you plan on shopping make sure you set time aside outside of the scheduled programming.  The store requests no more that 6 chaperoned students at a time.  The FOW also may have bus scholarships available, please visit their website.

Know Before You Go
Bring water with you. The refuge has no potable water available for drinking. Bring more water than you think you need. Take it with you on the trail. Warm weather can quickly cause heat exhaustion. Visitors should always have water with them.
Cell phone coverage is spotty across the refuge. You may not be able to call out if you need assistance. Take a map and go prepared.
Bison and longhorn are free roaming. For your safety and theirs, do not approach them.
The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset daily. Animals are most active in the early morning and late evening. Volunteers and staff are available at the Visitor Center and can help guide your visit and provide more information about the refuge should you need it.
Food is not allowed inside the visitor center. *see Refuge map for locations of picnic areas


We work with many different schools and groups every year. We want to make it a great field trip for your group and simple for you to schedule. Only the lead teacher/group leader should communicate with the Refuge to reduce confusion. Please share the information we send you with other attending teachers, chaperones, principals, driver, and necessary personnel. If the group is coming in several vehicles, please try to arrive on time as a group. Staff only have the scheduled time for your group and will have to shorten programs to fit.  

Respect for Educator(s)
For students to get the most out of the programs, educators need to have the opportunity to present as much information as possible. To prevent any information or activities from being cut from programs, students need to stay focused and listen to the educator’s instructions. Students should raise hands to answer questions, remain seated unless told otherwise, and maintain a positive attitude throughout the entire experience. 

Respect for the Refuge
At National Wildlife Refuges, wildlife comes first. Refuges provide habitat for wildlife, we can respect wildlife and habitats through the following ways: do not litter (pack-it in, pack-it out), do not pick leaves/stems of plants, do not leave food behind, and quiet voices. Do not enter closed areas. Groups should bring their own trash bags to take all their trash with them. The refuge has limited trash cans. Leave rocks, feathers, sticks, etc on the ground. Please do not have the students take brochures. Brochures can be provided to the teacher.
It is a wild place, and you never know what you will see! Snakes, bugs, ticks, raccoons, skunks, etc. live at the refuge. Please stay with the group. If a student needs to use the restroom, please have a chaperone accompany the student.

Respect for Each Other
Students should be respectful to each other. No yelling, pinching, harassing, etc. Teachers and chaperones are responsible for student behavior. Students should stay with the group.