resources to help impart our ideas and promote our mission, activities, and programs

Figuring Out Who’s Who in the Alphabet Soup of USFWS, NWRA, and CORFA

Thank you to everyone who attended this week’s webinar Figuring Out Who’s Who in the Alphabet Soup of USFWS, NWRA, and CORFA. Should you want to listen again or didn’t have a chance to attend here is the recording and other materials.

A special thank you to our knowledgeable presenters:

  • DC Carr, Regional Friends Coordinator, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • Caroline Brouwer, Vice President of Government Affairs, National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA)
  • Joan Patterson, President, Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates (CORFA)

This webinar is archived on this website in the Resource Center.

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NEW FOR 2022 CORFA Photo Contest

2022 CORFA photo contest with monthly themes

At the end of 2021, CORFA asked Friends to post photos of your Refuge/Hatchery, with the opportunity to have your Refuge/Hatchery spotlighted. So many amazing images were posted in the private CORFA Facebook group. To continue this way to learn more about Refuge/Hatcheries and the Friends organizations supporting them, the contest is being continued this year with a little twist. Each month will have a theme and at the end of the month, the two photos with the most likes will be featured by the National Wildlife Refuge Association to have everyone vote on the winning photograph.

To entry the contest you must be a members of a Friends organization supporting a national wildlife refuge or hatchery. To submit an entry you need to be a member of the Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates Facebook group. Please note that this Facebook group is only for members of the refuge/hatcheries Friends groups. Photos are to be posted in the Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates Facebook group. When you post your photos – please include a short description, that it is for the contest and the name & location of your Refuge.

Download the list of monthly themes and ideas.

So, get your camera out, be creative and have fun!!

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The Inside-Out Rebranding of the NWRS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been on a journey to rebrand American’s Best Kept Secret, the National Wildlife Refuge System. Kristen Gilbert, USFWS Branch Lead for Communications and digital Services, shared this rebranding journey with Friends. The presentation included:

  • Developing a positive visitor-oriented experience,
  • Creating signage consistency that allows for individual refuge identity, 
  • Reaching new audiences that are more diverse and younger,
  • Expanding outreach – print, media, and sponsorship

Link to the webinar recording.

We want to thank our amazing and knowledgeable presenter, Kristen Gilbert, USFWS Branch Lead for Communications and digital Services.

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DID YOU TAKE PART IN THE CORFA/NWRA FRIENDS SURVEY?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when I take part in a survey and then never hear anything about the survey results. So, for the 88 of you who generously gave your time to provide us with answers to our questions and for those of you who didn’t but would like to know what the respondents told us, here you go with the results of our recent Friends Webinar Survey.

I’m going for the focus of the survey first, specifically, what webinar topics seemed to be of most interest to the respondents of our survey. Look for information from other parts of the survey in coming blog posts.

We provided 11 general subjects that we thought might be of interest to Friends and asked them to rate their interest in each topic as High, Medium, Low, or No interest. Here’s what you told us:

The winning topic in both “High” plus “Medium” interest and with the most “High” interest votes was OUTREACH & COMMUNICATIONS. We need to dig deeper now and find out exactly what kinds of things you are interested in but be sure to check out our Webinar on June 9 at 2:00 Eastern, with Angie Horn the NWRA Southern California Regional Refuge Partnership Specialist and Angelina Yost, The FWS Urban Programs Coordinator. They will be telling us about successful ways of building community partnerships, no matter where your refuge is located. To register click here.


No surprise that the second most “High” plus “Medium” interest votes was FUNDRAISING, followed closely by GRANTS. We have one fundraising webinar planned for the near future and will continue to seek presenters and subjects related to these two high-demand topics for additional presentations in the future.


The last topic we will highlight was GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP. Again, this is such a broad topic that we will be looking for some guidance from you as to what aspects of governance and leadership you would like more information about.

A couple of the remaining topics are areas that we have already provided webinars on, specifically, ADVOCACY & LOBBYING and FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.


The remaining topics were Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), Organizational Planning, Technology, Volunteer Management, and Sales/Retail. While these topics did not receive as many “High” or “Medium” interest votes as the ones mentioned above, none of the suggested topics received fewer than 54% “High”/”Medium” votes. It looks like we have our work cut out for us. If you have ideas for a webinar in one of the categories listed or know of a Friends member/supporter who might be a good presenter on one of these topics, please reach out to Cheryl Hart or Joan Patterson. Thanks for your hel

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Friends, Connecting with Your Community?

bird singing

Friends have stories to tell, and The Link staff would like to share them with our readers! Send us a short account about the creative ways you’ve found to network and promote your refuge, hatchery, or organization during these COVID times. Then we’ll publish them in our spring issue, due out in April.

Without the usual in-person meetings, fundraisers, special events, festivals, and county fairs, we’ve all had to find new ways to stay connected with our communities. What has worked for you? Please let us know! A few sentences are adequate, or if you’re ambitious, send a couple of paragraphs—it’s like writing a Facebook post! Then attach a photo if you have one and send to: CoalitionRefugeFriends@gmail.com by Friday, March 12.

(Photo: Bruce Ellingson)

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