The Link is a quarterly newsletter produced in coordination between Friends, the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends & Advocates.
For almost two years now, refuge and hatchery Friends have been adjusting to “life with COVID.” We’ve hosted Zoom meetings and presentations, beefed up our websites with videos and other self-serve options, used online shopping and other creative ways to promote business at our nature stores, and devised ways to meet and work safely with other Friends, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) staff, and even visitors outdoors at our sites. “So, what now?” you may ask.
Despite COVID, Friends remain in a unique position to collaborate with and support their USFWS partners. For example, they can advocate—and even lobby—for their sites, and with the help of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA), they are keeping abreast of current issues and learning how to work effectively with members of Congress and other decision-makers to influence legislation involving funding, use of national wildlife refuge lands, and other important issues. In the January quarterly call, Caroline Brouwer, Vice President of Government Affairs at NWRA, told us how we can support our national wildlife refuges and the National Wildlife Refuge System by submitting written testimony to Congress showing how our sites have suffered from lack of funding and reduced staffing. Don’t know where to start? Review the call recording and then click here for tips about submitting testimony.
Friends also continue to raise funds to support refuge/hatchery activities, programs, and projects, including those to attract and engage visitors, even if visitor centers are closed. The “COVID break” has given many of us a chance to develop ideas, raise funds as needed, and work with our USFWS partners to complete projects that welcome thousands of visitors—many of them new to our sites—as they seek “refuge at refuges.” This issue will focus on just a few of the many creative projects that Friends have completed recently. For details, click on the articles listed below.
We hope you’ll enjoy the Winter 2022 Edition of The Link:
- Breaking News! Nominations Being Accepted for NWRA’s 2022 National Wildlife Refuge Awards
- Community Outreach, Reimagined: Mobile Ranger Station Opened by Friends of Balcones Canyonlands NWR (Texas)
- Friends of Great Swamp (New Jersey) Hug (and Tag!) Trees and Shrubs: Helping Visitors Identify Their Woody Friends
- Raising the Visitor Center—Literally—at Pea Island NWR (North Carolina): Protecting the Refuge Visitor Center from the Rising Sea
- An Accessible Pathway to “Soar” at Tamarac NWR (Minnesota): Friends of Tamarac Make the Refuge More Accessible
- In the Spotlight: Friends of Assabet River NWR (Massachusetts) Photos Featured on CORFA Facebook Page
- Meet Our Partners Interview: Maggie O’Connell, Chief of Visitor Services
- Clearing the Hurdles and on to 2022: News from CORFA for the New Year
- Previews of Coming Webinars: Recordings of Past Programs and What’s on the Way
Sue Hix, Editor
Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
The Winter 2022 version of The Link has been a coordinated effort between the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends & Advocates.
To receive the next issue of The Link, complete the form at the bottom of this page https://www.refugeassociation.org/friends. And please add refugeassociation.org to the safe list for your email account.
You’re invited to join the CORFA Facebook group, a place to connect with other amazing members of the Friends community to share information, insights, and experiences concerning nonprofit governance, management, and advocacy. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/coalitionofrefugefriends/ and request to join this private group.
- Sue Hix (Editor) – Friends of Sherburne NWR
- Joan Patterson (Co-editor)—Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates
- Caroline Brouwer—NWRA VP of Government Affairs
- Eden Taylor (designer)— NWRA Communications Associate
- Friends Editorial Staff:
- Cheryl Hart—NWRA Board, Board member of Friends of Tualatin River NWR
- Kathy Woodward—Former NWRA Board Member, Board member of Friends of Great Swamp NWR
- Jim Stone– NWRA Board, Board member of Friends of the Wichitas