National Wildlife Refuge System
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October 2013 Events

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Bald cypress trees turn scarlet in autumn in the Cuddo Unit of Santee National Wildlife Refuge, S.C. Autumn celebrations abound this month on national wildlife refuges.
Credit: Marc Epstein/USFWS

Digital Camera Photo Safari
Saturday, October 5, 1 to 2:30 p.m. − Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, AK
Register: 907-260-2811
Learn tips while aiming your lens at mushrooms, leaves and berries. All ages are welcome. Digital cameras are provided. Participants will leave with a sheet of their own prints.
Pre-registration is required: 907-260-2811.


Ridgefield Birdfest
Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6 – Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Choose from a host of special events including kayak tours, bird walks, a digital camera workshop, sandhill crane tours and a geology walk. Pre-registration required for all tours:


River Activities
Saturday, October 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, MO
Enjoy activities on the river, at the refuge and at the University of Missouri. The refuge will partner with the Missouri Master Naturalists on this statewide event.


Gardening Gone Wild
Saturday, October 5, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Desert National Wildlife Refuge, NV
Help plant native Great Basin rye and lemonade bushes at the Corn Creek wetland. Native plants help prevent erosion, stabilize soils, reduce dust, thwart invasives and provide habitat for wildlife.


Refuge Week Celebration
Saturday, October 5, 2013 −Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, WA
To honor National Wildlife Refuge Week later this month, enjoy special events, classes and tours that focus on wildlife in the Columbia Basin.


Fall Wildlife Festival
Saturday, October 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN
In honor of Refuge Week, enjoy a host of activities including horse-drawn wagon rides, live raptor exhibits, wildlife photography, nature crafts and a bonfire. Learn about the refuge prairie and oak savannah.


Nature Walk for Health
Saturday, October 5, 9 to 10 a.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Take a guided nature walk on the Tidelands Trail and hear what makes this refuge unique. The
one-and-one-third-mile walk traverses endangered species habitat and offers great views of south San Francisco Bay. Meet in front of the visitor center.


Refuge Open House
Sunday, October 6, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, MI
Sunday, October 13, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, October 20, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, October 27, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Explore Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge’s Gibraltar Bay Unit. The open house is sponsored by the Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy.


Refuge Story Time
Friday, October 11, 10 a.m. — Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, WV
Join a free monthly story series for preschoolers, hosted by the refuge and the Friends of the 500th. Call ahead to confirm: 304-866-3858.


Stewardship Saturday
Saturday, October 12, 8 a.m. to noon — Desert National Wildlife Refuge, NV
Help build 13.5 meters of trail, salvage salt grass in the trail footprint, and perform other trail maintenance. Hat and sunscreen are recommended.


Watershed Investigators
Saturday, October 12, 10:30 a.m. to noon — Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, MA
Enjoy a monthly kid-oriented program that focuses on hands-on discovery of nature. Methods of discovery may include crafts, games, stories and exploration. This program is geared toward grades 2-5, but everyone is welcome.

National Wildlife Refuge Week
Sunday, October 13 thru Saturday, October 19
See some of the many public events that refuges are planning in celebration: Refuge Week events


Art Contest
October 15 to October 19 − Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, FL  Enter “Loxahatchee Visions” − the Friends’ 4th annual juried art contest. Entries will be accepted at the visitor center from October 15-19. An award ceremony will take place October 27 at 1 p.m. After that, entries will be displayed in the auditorium and will be available for purchase until January 3. Entry fee: $5 Friends; $25 non-members. No photos. Contest entry form and rules:


Canoe Trip
Friday, October 18, 7-9 p.m. − Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, FL

Enjoy a full moon guided canoe trip, $32, Reserve: 561-733-0192


1001 Birds: A Celebration of the Fall Migration
Saturday, October 19 — Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, NV

Welcome the return of south-bound birds.


Refuge Bike Ride with Apple Picking
Saturday, October 19, 1 to 4 p.m. — Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, MA

Enjoy an 8-to-10-mile bike ride through the refuge to Honey Pot Orchards in Stow, MA. Meet at the visitor center. Please have appropriate tires for some uneven terrain.


Paddle Ride
Saturday, October 19, 8 a.m. − Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, MO

Enjoy a guided paddle ride down the Mingo River. Some canoes and kayaks will be available for use. Participants are welcome to bring their own canoe, kayak or life jacket to open room up for more participants. Pre-register; 573-222-3589 or


Fall Historic Bus Tour
Sunday, October 20, noon — Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, MA

Join historian Paul Boothroyd for a popular bus tour of refuge historical sites, dating back to Native Americans, the War of Independence and World War II. Hear many entertaining stories and anecdotes. Tickets: $9 per person, in advance only. Reserve early: 978-835-4515.


Waterfowl ID
Sunday, October 20, 9 a.m. to noon — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO

Fall migration brings an abundance of waterfowl to refuge lakes. Hear a naturalist’s presentation on how to identify visiting birds. Then take a trip to the lake and try out your new skills.


Wings Over Water

Tuesday, October 22 to Sunday, October 27, all day — Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, NC

Enjoy a six-day celebration of the wild side of the Outer Banks area. Festival events involve birding, paddling, wildlife photography and natural history. All proceeds go to the nonprofit Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society. More information:


Waterfowl Photography
Saturday, October 26, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, WI

Capture the wonders of migration. All skill levels are welcome. From 9 to 10 a.m. attend a naturalist-led discussion on quick-moving objects, photo sharing, tips and tricks. From 10 a.m. and into the afternoon, explore refuge areas with a special focus on your own photography.


Spooky Seasons
Saturday, October 26, 3-7:30 p.m. − Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, AK

Enjoy activities at the Environmental Education Center. Take a walk on the quarter-mile illuminated Spooky Trail with education stations from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. No costumes or candy, please. More information: 907-260-2839


Bird Watching
Sunday, October 27, 8 a.m. — Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, MD

Join an expert birder for a free guided refuge bird watching trip appropriate for both experienced and novice birders. Bring your binoculars and field guides. No preregistration is required. Walks begin from the visitor center.


Bird Walk
Sunday, October 27, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA

Join a birding tour led by docents at the Living Coast Discovery Center on Sweetwater Marsh. Tour requires paid admission to the Discovery Center: $9 - $14, depending on age. Meet at the Discovery Center entrance. 

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Last updated: September 25, 2013