The July Photo Contest theme was “Reptiles & Amphibians”. Friends members shared photos of these cold-blooded creatures in honor of World Snake Day. Sue Wilder with the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc. submitted the winning photos of a copperhead taken while she was collecting data for the Gulf Coast Phenology Trail at the Big Branch Marsh NWR, in Lacombe, LA.
Big Branch Marsh NWR is one of nine refuges in the Southeast Louisiana Refuge Complex. Our Friends group, Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc. seeks to support our wildlife refuges. From staffing educational events to planting wetland plants towards restoration efforts, our Friends group is there. We have a small but mighty group of volunteers and members who love to support all things refuges.
The principal purpose of our Friends organization is to engage in promoting better awareness, appreciation, and conservation of the natural environment of the Southeast Louisiana Refuges Complex: to promote programs and services that will enhance the quality of the refuges, and to work with other agencies and organizations to raise funds and direct resources towards visitor services, educational, interpretative, and environmental projects which, without assistance, would not be accomplished solely through the efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2021, we celebrated our 25-year anniversary.
Some of our well known events on the refuge include the Bayou Gardens Open House in the spring, our Youth Fishing Rodeo Event in early Summer and our most popular, our Wild Things Celebration in the fall. With recent Covid-19 restrictions our activities have been limited for the last two years we were able to help support “Boo on the Bayou”, a driving tour of not-so-scary wildlife stations (Bats, Owls, Snakes, Alligators, and Spiders – oh my) to educate children (and adults) about wildlife conservation while keeping socially distant. We look forward to the days when we can open our doors fully
Photo credits: Sue Wilder with the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc.