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Celebrating a Century of Conservation
Centennial sectionEducationGeneral Interest sectionHabitats and Conservation sectionPolicy Makers section

At the refuges . . .

Back to the Future . . .
At the turn of the 20th century, Drawbridge, CA, was a thriving town, born from the booming railroad industry and abundant wildlife in the salt marshes of South San Francisco Bay. As urbanization altered the landscape and brought a decline in wildlife, Drawbridge became just a memory. Visitors to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge can visit the ghost town on the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) train October 4, when the refuge holds its Refuge System Centennial celebration and details how the salt ponds recently acquired from Cargill Salt Company will be restored to environmentally productive salt marshes. The public will be allowed into a part of the refuge that is usually closed. The refuge, ACE and Union Pacific Railroad will work together to transport passengers to Drawbridge. Other partners include Herzog International, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Wildlife Stewards.

World-renowned wildlife artist Dave Bartholet's 30x50 foot mural shows a flock of Canada geese coming to land while a great blue heron stands nearby and a few pintails swim away. Town Paints the Refuge . . .
A wetland scene depicting Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge is the latest addition to the outdoor gallery of 60-plus murals in this small eastern Washington town, known as "The City of Murals." World-renowned wildlife artist Dave Bartholet's 30x50 foot mural shows a flock of Canada geese coming to land while a great blue heron stands nearby and a few pintails swim away. Each summer, the Toppenish Mural Society, founded in 1989 to spruce up the town, hires artists to add more murals to the open-air collection. Most depict the history of Toppenish from 1850 to 1920. This is the first to depict a wildlife refuge. The mural society created a tourism phenomenon when it established its annual "mural-in-a-day" event, held the first Saturday each June. Spectators fill bleachers as if at a sporting event to watch a team of artists transform a blank wall into art.

BirdFest Shines in the Rain
The weather was perfect . . . for ducks. Rain throughout the weekend did not deter visitors from the fourth annual BirdFest at Ridgefield Refuge (WA) October 11-12 as migrating birds were welcomed back to their winter home. Those who took the weather in stride participated in kayak tours in the "wake" of explorers Lewis and Clark, sunset sandhill crane viewing tours, guided bird walks, and ethnobotany walks to learn about plant lore and agricultural customs. The day also offered children's activities, lectures, live raptor shows by the Oregon Zoo, storytelling, an art exhibit, and such volunteer programs as planting of tree seeds, which had been collected on the refuge by a local nurseryman.

Celebrating the Nisqually River
Nisqually Refuge (WA) celebrated the Refuge System's centennial with its 14th annual Nisqually Watershed Festival September 27, which attracted about 1,600 people, who celebrated the river as well as incredible fall weather. Fifty refuge volunteers, Americorps volunteers and refuge staff work on the festival, which featured exhibits, information tables, children's activities, tours, walks, music, storytelling, and a salmon bake. Among the key partners who participated were the Nisqually River Council, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Nisqually Red Wind Casino, Tacoma Public Utilities, Washington Department of Ecology, and Friends of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Nisqually tribal drummers provided the welcome.

Reception at the Northeastern Nevada Museum showcasing 59 paintings of the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Artistry In Nature . . .
The largest opening reception crowd in the Northeastern Nevada Museumís history gathered July 10 for "Ruby Marshes: An Artist's View," a juried exhibit showcasing 59 paintings of the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge by 23 artists. The exhibit was part of the Refuge System's Centennial celebration. The exhibit incorporated a Native American canoe and other artifacts from the museum's permanent collection to add natural ambiance to the gallery. About 150 people attended the reception and awards presentation hosted by the refuge. One artist commented, "The overall theme of the art was reverence and respect for the wildlife and sanctuary offered at the Ruby Lake Refuge." The exhibit ran through September 22 at the museum in Elko.

In the Eye of the Beholder . . .
More than 100 people were awed by the beauty of the photos and the refuges they depict at the opening of "Reflections of Nature," an exhibit by Photographer Karen Hollingsworth at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge (DE). Dover Mayor James L. Hutchison welcomed guests to the Delaware Agricultural Museum, where the exhibit ran through August 31. The exhibit commemorates the Refuge Systemís Centennial.

Happy Birthday Refuges 100 Can you guess what is being used to spell out "Happy Birthday Refuges 100?" Click on the picture to view a larger version and find out the answer.

"A Century of Conservation" Now in Print
Combine the talents of a premier wildlife art family, the National Wildlife Refuge System and 100 years of conservation and you get an art print that showcases wildlife from all four major North American Flyways. Titled "A Century of Conservation," the print was created by the Hautman brothers, Jim, Bob and Joe, and combines three scenes from the Refuge System, featuring pelicans, mallards, an avocet, and other waterfowl.

Produced by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NWFW), the limited edition, signed, and numbered prints are available for $250 unframed or $400 professionally framed print. Prices include shipping, handling, and insurance. Only 1,000 prints have been produced. Proceeds will be matched by NWFW and other partners and used for habitat restoration projects on FWS lands. To view the artwork and get an order form, go to or contact the Friends of Minnesota Valley, 952-858-0737.

Big Stone NWR Celebrates the 100th Year Anniversary in a Big Way   Learn More >>

A Look Back – Centennial Perspectives from Alaska Maritime NWR >>

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