header graphic

Hard Economic Times Don't Ground the Blue Goose

Around the country, hard times have led to the cancellation of some beloved community events — like the Ice Spectacular in Utica, Mich. and the Indiana Wizard of Oz Festival in Porter County, Ind. But on National Wildlife Refuges, festivals continue. Here is a brief sampling of upcoming events on refuges, whose symbol is the blue goose:

Sat. March 28: Curing Cabin Fever Geocaching Event, Upper Mississippi River NWFR Savanna District, Illinois.
Take part in a high-tech treasure hunt; anyone with a GPS can play. Don't have a GPS? The refuge has them available on loan. Attend an Intro to Geocaching Class; then give your new skills a try. Beginners welcome. 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information about the refuge: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/UpperMississippiRiver

Sat. April 4: Iroquois Observations, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, New York
Enjoy a free nature program presented in partnership with the Buffalo Audubon Society. Activities include: Raptor Field Trip (9 a.m. - noon). Join a car caravan to look for birds of prey. Nature Sketching (1-2 p.m.) Bring your sketch pad and pencils and join an artist. Scope Watch (1-4 p.m., weather permitting). Meet at Cayuga Overlook. For more information about the refuge: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/iroquois/

Sat. April 17: 2nd Annual Youth Fishing Rodeo, Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana
Land a big one and win a prize. Open to children ages 4 12; 8 a.m. to noon. For more information about the refuge: http://www.fws.gov/grandcote

Sat. April 18: Earth Day Festivities, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, East Entrance, near Folkston, Ga.
Start your day with a litter pick-up on the refuge. Then take a bicycle tour of Swamp Island Drive, stopping at many exhibits and demonstrations about wildlife, wildland fire, fishing, nature photography, swamp culture, hiking, bicycling, and recycling. Create nature crafts, see live animals and get a free bicycle safety check. 8 a.m. noon. For more information about the refuge: http://www.fws.gov/okefenokee

Sat. April 25: Earth Day Festivities, Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, Texas
Enjoy a host of free outdoor activities at the Champion Lake Public Use Area, including canoeing, kayaking and boating tours, bird, and butterfly viewing, walking the levee trail, and dip netting and fishing lessons in the lake for the kids. Bring a lawn chair as seating is limited. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about the refuge: http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/trinityriver

Sat. April 25: Spring into Nature 2009, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, New York
Bring the kids and welcome spring back to the swamps. This free event, sponsored by the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in partnership with the Buffalo Audubon Society and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, features exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities to connect children with nature. Includes bald eagle watch, guest speakers, and live animals. 9 a.m. 4 p.m. For more information about the refuge: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/iroquois

Thurs., May 7 and Friday, May 8: Birding Festival, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Suffolk, Va.
s Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with a guided bird walk, a refuge tour, birding, and photography workshops and family activities. For more information about the refuge: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/greatdismalswamp
Thurs, May 7 and Friday, May 8: 17th Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, Homer, Alaska
Celebrate spring and the 50th anniversary of Alaska's Statehood at this festival, which coincides with International Migratory Bird Day. The theme: "Birds in Culture: Our Brothers and Sisters Return." Hear two keynote speakers: Yup'ik storyteller Jack Dalton and Paul Baicich, author of "A Guide to the Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds" and chair of the Council on Environmental Education's Bird Education Network. For more information about the refuge: http://alaska.fws.gov/nwr/akmar/index.htm

Sat. May 9: International Migratory Bird Day, Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, Zimmerman, Minn.
Celebrate the return of millions of migratory birds to their breeding areas by joining either of two guided bird tours at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, May 9. The "Songbird Search," enjoyed most by intermediate and experienced birders, runs from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. "Birds in the Wetlands," which focuses on beginning birders and families, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Both programs begin at the Old School House on County Road 9. For more information about the refuge: http://midwest.fws.gov/sherburne

Thurs, May 28: The CCC at Deer Flat: A Legacy of Federal Labor in the Treasure Valley, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, Idaho
Celebrate Deer Flat's 100th anniversary by attending a lecture by Boise State University history professor Marc Fisk about this historic place. For more information about the refuge: http://www.fws.gov/deerflat

Last Update: November 23, 2009

FWS Logo