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Information iconA bison grazes at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver. (Photo: Ian Shive/USFWS)

Sunday, September 29 is Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day, which recognizes urban national wildlife refuges for enriching the lives of Americans and their communities.

For the 80 percent of Americans who live in or near cities, urban national wildlife refuges provide vital access to nature and outdoor recreation, boosting residents’ physical and psychological well-being. Urban wildlife refuges also promote local economies.  

Among the 101 urban refuges offering Americans nearby wildlife viewing and outdoor recreation, including hiking, hunting and fishing, are refuges near Albuquerque, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis and San Diego and a refuge within the city limits of Philadelphia. Another 30 urban wildlife refuge partnerships provide nature-based recreation to people who live within 25 miles of an area with a population of more than 250,000. Urban refuge partnerships are active in cities including Baltimore, Chicago, and Houston.

National wildlife refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

People thrive on nature, wherever they live. Learn more about the Urban Wildlife Conservation Program.

Video: Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge near New Orleans is a rocking place.

(All events take place Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 unless otherwise noted.)

Philly Fall Nature Fest
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA
Free archery, kayak lessons, nature walks.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Build Your Refuge Day (pdf)
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, NM
Free tours, gardening-for-wildlife workshops, music, kids activities.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fishing Frenzy (pdf)
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Free for ages 3-15
8 a.m. to noon
Registration required: or call 303-289-3789

Fun Day on the Bay
San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Crafts, archery, biking 
9 a.m. to noon

Wetland Restoration and Tours
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, OR
Tours of Chicken Creek restoration project
Planting 11:30 a.m. Tours 12:30 and 1:30 pm. National Urban day and National Public Lands Day

International Coastal Cleanup
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Refuge, FL
A morning of tree planting, fishing and picking up litter.

Prairie Restoration
Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, IA
Volunteers will help collect native plant seeds to aid native tallgrass prairie restoration.
8:30 a.m. to noon

Wildlife Festival
Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN
Archery, live animals, horse-drawn wagon rides
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Open House Weekend
Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, MI
Family night hike, birding hike, volunteer orientation          
Sept 27-29

BirdFest and Bluegrass Festival
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Saturday, Oct. 5
Celebrates the return of the sandhill cranes with workshops, nature walks, bluegrass music, live birds.

Wings Over Willapa Festival
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
Sept. 26-29
Guided tours, artist workshops, presentations.

Discover Your Refuge Day
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, TX
Crafts, guided bike ride, archery, bass fishing.

Video“Not Your Typical Refuge”


Information iconDetroit River International Wildlife Refuge, just south of Detroit. (Photo: Ian Shive/USFWS)