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The Link is a quarterly newsletter produced in coordination between Friends, the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends & Advocates.

The last time that refuge and hatchery Friends organizations from across the country came together at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, to learn, network, and expand their horizons was for the memorable Moving Friends Forward (aka “Snowmageddon”) workshop in January 2016. Many changes and challenges later, the National Friends Workshop of April 2023 again attracted Friends from near and far.  

This year, however, the participants included younger Friends and people new to Friends organizations; and workshop sessions included topics—like combining culture and science, building your digital skills toolkit, and diversity/inclusion—that would not have appeared on the 2016 agenda. Refuge/hatchery staffing shortages and budget concerns were top of mind. These factors combined for a busy and very interactive few days.

Your editorial staff was heavily involved in helping to plan and host this year’s workshop, so we decided to take a “roving reporter” approach to our coverage; however, Friends were so focused on attending sessions, networking with new Friends, and meeting during meals and social time that it was difficult to interrupt long enough to get photos and ask for impressions of the NCTC experience. Read on to hear from a few of those who we managed to corral.

Enjoy Our Spring Issue!

Read All Of The Stories!

Thank you for all you do for national wildlife refuges,

Sue Hix
Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN


The Spring 2023 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 
  • 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