National Wildlife Refuge System
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September 2014 Events

boys netting Monarchs
Boys net monarch butterflies for tagging at Neal Smith Refuge in Iowa. The refuge’s popular “Monarch Madness” event is September 6.
Photo: USFWS


Bird Walk
Every Sunday, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Explore native birds and raptors on a guided walk on Sweetwater Marsh led by a docent at the Living Coast Discovery Center. Walking on the refuge is free, but this tour requires paid admission to the LCDC. Meet at the LCDC entrance. Please park at the E street exit in Chula Vista, and take the shuttle bus to the center.  


Volunteer at Ridgefield
September 3, 6, 10 and 13 — Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Help pull ricefield bulrush, an invasive plant that crowds out native wetland plants that wildlife need for food and cover.


Wilderness Festival
September 6, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act at the National Wildlife Refuge System’s first designated wilderness area. Take a guided wilderness walks. Enjoy nature crafts, archery, and more.


Bird Tour
September 6, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. — Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN
Enjoy a free, family-friendly birding tour. Meet your guide at refuge headquarters.


Canoe Trip
September 6, 7:30 a.m. — Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, TN
Enjoy a one-and-one-half-hour float on the Goose Pen Trail at Long Point. Floats take place water-level permitting. Bring your own kayak or canoe and life jacket. Some boats are available for borrowing. Register: 731-538-2481


Monarch Madness
September 6, 9 to 11 a.m. — Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, IA
Help refuge staff collect, tag and release monarch butterflies on their migration south through the refuge. The tags help scientists learn more about the butterflies’ long migration to Mexico and back. Pre-registration is required: 515-994-3400 or . Group size is limited to 100.  


Dragonfly Festival
September 6 Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, NM
See some of the more than 90 species of dragonflies and damselflies found on the refuge. Enjoy a host of family-friendly nature activities. Reservations are required for dragonfly, birding and wildlife tours: 575- 910-1276.


Nature Walk for Health
September 6, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Take a guided nature walk on the Tidelands Trail.  The 1.3--mile walk traverses endangered species habitat and offers great views of south San Francisco Bay.  Meet in front of the visitor center.


Beginner Photography Class
September 6, 9 a.m. — St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Learn to take great digital nature photos. Meet in Nature’s Classroom. Children are welcome with adults. The class is free after refuge admission. Register: 850-925-6121


Sunday Bird Walk
September 7, 14, 21, 28, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Discover the native birds of Sweetwater Marsh on this guided birding tour led by docents from the Living Coast Discovery Center (LCDC). Walking on the refuge is generally free, but this tour requires paid admission to the LCDC. Meet at the LCDC entrance. Please park at the E street exit in Chula Vista, and take the shuttle bus to the center.  


Insect Safari
September 7, 2 p.m. — Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, MI
Learn about resident insects and then join a short “catch and release” hike in the Gibraltar Bay Unit to find and identify them.


Stream Splashers
September 7 and 20, 10 a.m. to noon — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Roll up your pants and wade in to search for mayflies, stoneflies and other aquatic critters in refuge ponds, using dip nets, magnifying glasses and bug jars. Participants will receive an ID guide to stream invertebrates. Recommended for ages 6 ‐ 12 years old.


Duck Conservation Day
September 13 — McNary National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Learn how to band ducks, identify waterfowl, call geese and retrieve ducks with a Labrador. Members of Ducks Unlimited and the Richland Rod and Gun Club will be on hand to teach youth of all ages about waterfowl. 


Wildflower Tour
September 13, 10 a.m. to noon — Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN
Explore the refuge in search of late summer wildflowers.


Fur Harvest Education Program
September 16, 18 and 20, 6 to 9:30 p.m. — Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, ND
Join a three-day class to learn about all aspects of fur harvest in North Dakota. The class will include classroom and hands-on activities such as trap handling, hound hunting, predator calling, fur handling, furbearer biology, fur harvest regulations and ethics. Pre-registration is required: 701-442-5474 ext. 110 or


Capturing the Beauty and Mystery of Nature and Wildlife Through Photography
September 18, 7:15 p.m.  – Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Enjoy the last lecture of this year’s series.


Fall Hike ‘n’ Bird
September 19, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Calling all birders from novice to expert – don’t miss one of the last guided hikes of the season! This hike explores woodland, wetland and prairie habitats. Expect to hike up to three miles.


Scorpion Hunt and Night Hike
September 19 and 20, 8 p.m. — Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge, NV
Search for scorpions using provided UV black lights. Learn about coyote, deer and owl adaptations that help them thrive in the dark. RSVP:


CA Coastal Cleanup Day
September 20, 10 a.m. to noon — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Join the effort to keep our coastal areas clean. Pick up trash and tidy up the wetland areas near the refuge. Come with a hat, sunscreen, a great attitude, and we’ll provide the rest. Reservations required: Contact: Julie at 408-262-5513 ext.104. 


Honey Harvest Festival
September 20, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
Join the Maryland State Beekeepers Association in celebrating the free annual Maryland Honey Harvest Festival. Discover the busy world of bees and other pollinators while enjoying arts and crafts, honey tasting and candle-making demonstrations. Tram tours require a purchased ticket.


Monarch Mania
September 20, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, KS
Be a part of science, and have fun, too. Help capture and tag monarch butterflies so scientists can track their journey and population numbers. Learn how to garden for butterflies. Discover the many varieties of butterflies in Kansas. Enjoy arts and crafts for kids. No pre-registration is required for this popular free event.


Great Egret Excursion
September 20, 5 to 7 p.m. — Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, NY
Meet at Cayuga Overlook to view great egrets gathering to roost for the night. Bring binoculars and insect repellent. Pre-registration is required: 585-948-5445 ext. 2222 


Nisqually Watershed Festival
September 27, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Join in an annual nature festival featuring art, discovery and family fun. Enjoy free talks and crafts, guided walks, live raptors and musical entertainment. Make a fish print with a Nisqually salmon.  


National Public Lands Day
September 27
Celebrate our nation’s public lands and take part in one of many volunteer cleanup events at refuges around the country. Here are a few examples.

  • Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX

    9 to 11 a.m.
    Join a cleanup at the Hwy 105 Trinity River Bridge. Aluminum cans and metal will be recycled. Bring gloves. The refuge will supply plastic trash bags.


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Last updated: August 29, 2014