October 11-17, 2020
Rediscover your nature at a national wildlife refuge. National Wildlife Refuge Week, observed the second full week of October each year, celebrates the great network of lands and waters that conserves and protects Americans’ precious wildlife heritage.
The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provides vital habitat for thousands of native species, including sandhill cranes, American alligators, bison and sea turtles. National wildlife refuges offer outstanding recreation, too. Refuge Week is a perfect time to see why tens of millions of Americans visit refuges each year to enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking and wildlife watching.
Wildlife refuges also add to Americans’ comfort and safety by curbing flood risk and wildfire damage, providing cleaner air and water, and supporting local communities. (Story: “11 Ways Wildlife Refuges Make Life Better.”) In carrying out the Refuge System’s wildlife conservation mission, under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, wildlife refuges pump $3.2 billion per year into regional economies and support more than 41,000 jobs.
The Refuge System includes 568 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts covering 95 million acres of land. Below are some events for Refuge Week 2020. Check your nearest wildlife refuge for events as the week draws closer.
“Live Your Wild” Virtual and In-Person Activities
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida
- Oct. 11: Solo Social Sunday: Take part in a virtual nature hike on the refuge Facebook page. Or take a real hike at the refuge. The usual $5 entrance fee is waived today in celebration of the start of National Wildlife Refuge Week.
- Oct. 12: Monday Miracles: Take part in a painting class on Facebook. Register here to receive one of a limited number of paint canvases.
- Oct 13: Thrilling Tuesday: Join a virtual nature adventure on Facebook.
- Oct. 14: Wildlife Wednesday: Join a nature photo contest on Facebook.
- Oct. 15: Throwback Thursday: Join a virtual tour of the historic St. Marks Lighthouse on Facebook.
- Oct. 16: Friendship Friday: Special thanks to our volunteers, Friends and partners!
- Oct. 17: Family Fun Day: Take part in a refuge scavenger hunt. Get a clue sheet from the refuge website or the refuge fee station. Then, as you drive down Lighthouse Road, look for objects on the scavenger hunt sheet, and mark them off as you spot them. Please leave all objects where they are. Nothing will be collected but memories! Refuge is open daylight hours.
San Diego National Wildlife Refuge
Enjoy a new video about the Bayshore Birding and Walking Trail, located at the refuge’s South Bay unit. The video will be published to the refuge Facebook page.
Junior Ranger and BioBlitz Fun
Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges
Enjoy an at-home series of Junior Ranger activities and refuge spotlight videos on our refuges’ Facebook page, @SoutheastLouisiana. Visit the refuge in person to take part in its week-long BioBlitz through iNaturalist. Top observers will receive a prize from the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc.
Scavenger Hunt, Trivia Contest and More
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Texas
All events will be available on the refuge Facebook page.
- Sunday, Oct. 11: Solo Social - Scavenger Hunt
Find and submit 6 of the 10 items on the list below for an opportunity to win a refuge T-shirt and refuge pass (courtesy of the Friends of Laguna Atascosa)
Raptor, Cactus, Red Flower, Migratory Bird, Mammal, Reptile, Butterfly, Moth, National Wildlife Refuge Sign, Non-Migratory Bird. Submit entries to Christopher_Quezada@fws.gov
- Monday, Oct. 12: Nature Sketching
Join us in your own quarantine edition of Nature-Sketching! Share your work using the hashtags #liveyourwild and #nationalwildliferefuge or post them directly to our Facebook page.
- Tuesday, Oct. 13: Trivia Tuesday
How well do you know your refuge? Join us at 7pm CST for Trivia Tuesday Live on our Facebook page.
- Wednesday, Oct. 14: Wildlife Wednesday
Join refuge ranger George Garcia as he highlights pocket parks in the city of Brownsville. Learn how you can make your backyard friendlier to pollinators and other small species.
- Thursday, Oct. 15 - Throwback Thursday
Where did my ocean go? Hear the story of the Bahia Grande and the challenges faced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in restoring more than 6,000 acres of saltwater wetlands.
- Friday, Oct. 16 - Friendship Friday
Learn how Friends groups help the refuge and what the Friends of Laguna Atascosa have done to aid ocelot recovery!
- Saturday, Oct. 17 - Shorebirds Live!
Follow John and Cathy, live on our Facebook page from 9 to 10 a.m. Central Standard Time, as they explore refuge shorelines in search of migrating shorebirds.
Friday Night Bug Lights
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, southeast Texas
Take home a beginner moth sheet kit and join a virtual meet and greet with local insect enthusiasts. Free. Sign up by October 10.
October 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Day in the Wild” Challenge
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, New York
Explore refuge trails and observation areas, using a Challenge packet to guide you and a nature journal to help you document your experience. Pick these up at the visitor center beginning at 9 a.m. Take a selfie with #MontezumaWild signs posted along your journey and show them at checkout. Complete the Challenge to receive a Montezuma Wild commemorative hat!
Great Plains Nature Center, Kansas
Head to the park for an outdoor showing of two new videos. One is a Halloween-themed video, focusing on campfire stories tied to nightmares about creepy crawlies. The other is a new video showcasing the National Wildlife Refuge System. Learn more on the center’s Facebook page.
The center is an urban community partnership, affiliated with Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and the Kansas National Wildlife Refuge Complex.