The Link — Fall 2022 Newsletter

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:9 mins read

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

Here in Central Minnesota, when goldenrod is abuzz with pollinators and school supplies fill the shelves of big-box stores, we know that back-to-school time is nigh. Unfortunately, at the same time in some years—like this one—names like Katrina, Maria, and Ian monopolize the news, and photos of their devastation give us pause. Our hearts go out to our Friends/friends in Florida and the Southeast as their lives, homes, and refuges deal with what the hurricane has left behind. Our thoughts are with you.

Since environmental education is one of the Big Six public uses of national wildlife refuges, we have decided to focus our fall issue on education and how some of our Friends are supporting it at their refuges. Here at Sherburne NWR, over the past 12 years, we have been fortunate to work with staff at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center (PWLC), part of the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District, to develop a nature education program to meet our needs. The PWLC was the logical go-to resource, not just because of its proximity, but because of the exceptional hands-on learning options they offer, supported by the Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center.

The PWLC offers a standards-based curriculum geared to the season through a variety of programs for preschool and K-12 students as well as multi-day and overnight visits for 5th graders and older. This is impressive by itself. However, what makes the PWLC special is their Prairie Science Class, “an award-winning, internationally recognized partnership with Fergus Falls Public Schools.” This partnership uses “the local prairie wetlands ecosystem as an integrating and motivating context to engage 4th and 5th-grade students in science, language arts, critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing through real world, field-based learning experiences.” In short, the same 200 4th and 5th-grade students spend half of each school day for a full school year at the PWLC, where four district teachers have their own classrooms plus the 330-acre outdoor classroom for providing hands-on learning for their students.

At Sherburne, we have incorporated the principles of the PWLC Compass to Nature method into our approach and have developed our own standards-based curriculum for our work with our partner schools. Further, our education volunteers and some of our partner-school teachers have participated in the excellent Teaching in the Outdoor Classroom Workshop at the PWLC. We are grateful to the staff of the PWLC (past and present) as well as to the PWLC Friends for providing and supporting this valuable program. The Friends’ support has been essential—whether handling registrations for the outdoor classroom workshop, providing essential funding for the naturalist who manages the PWLC greenhouse, or rewarding Prairie Science Class students with ice cream on the last day of school. Hats off to the staff and Friends at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center!

Our Fall Features Include:

Read All Of The Stories!

Sincerely,
Sue Hix, Editor
Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. MN


Credits

The Fall 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 
  • Libby Marking—NWRA Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy
  • 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

Continue ReadingThe Link — Fall 2022 Newsletter

The Link — Summer 2022 Newsletter

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:6 mins read

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

Summertime and more folks are on the road again visiting family and friends, state and national parks—and our national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries. This issue features stunning photos by Friends of refuges from Hawaii to the east coast. Friends mentors have been on the road again as well; enjoy photos from their visits to Maine and California. 

Vacation time means that we also have the opportunity to meet with our elected officials as the House and Senate take recess. We have included tips for inviting your Congress members to visit your site and an example of a compelling story that can help you compose your own story to tell once those representatives arrive at your refuge or hatchery. On the subject of advocacy, “meet” Libby Marking, the new Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy for the National Wildlife Refuge Association. 

Finally, read about CORFA and fellow Friends meeting with USFWS Director Martha Williams, participate in a CORFA online questionnaire, and see what webinars are on the calendar for the next few months. It’s another jam-packed issue for you to enjoy! 

Our Summer Features Include:

Read All Of The Stories!

Sincerely,
Sue Hix, Editor
Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. MN


Credits

The Summer 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 
  • Libby Marking—NWRA Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy
  • 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

Continue ReadingThe Link — Summer 2022 Newsletter

Wildlife Babies Signal the Arrival of Spring

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:2 mins read

The April Photo Contest winner was a photo by Les Heiserman of a Canada Goose and six goslings. Les captured the amazing image at the D.C Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives in Spearfish, South Dakota. Nancy Cole, Booth Society Friends Gift Shop Manager and Assistant Director submitted this winning photo. The pair of geese have been nesting on the island for at least the last 9 years. Visitors to the Hatchery eagerly await their arrival.

Canada Goose and six goslings
Photo Credit: Les Heiserman

Established in 1896, D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives, formerly Spearfish National Fish Hatchery, is one of the oldest operating hatcheries in the country dedicated to fish culture and resource management. The Hatchery is located within the town Spearfish, South Dakota. 

In partnership with the USFWS, the Booth Society Friends group manages visitor services, the volunteer program, educational and outreach programs, coordinates special events and community outreach, manages retail sales, advocates for the hatchery, coordinates rentals in Ruby’s Garden, and supports Friends Groups nationally.  As a non-profit, citizen-based group, the Society relies on donations, sales, and City subsidy funding to promote, preserve, and enhance the educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities at the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery for our 190,000 plus visitors each year. Founded in 1989 the Booth Society staff of two relies heavily on our seasonal volunteers to help staff the historical venues. In 2021 we celebrated 125 years of the rich history the hatchery has established throughout the community and region. With our dedicated partners we are committed to sharing the treasured D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives for generations to come. 

MISSION STATEMENT:  Promoting, preserving and enhancing the educational, cultural and recreational opportunities at D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. 

Continue ReadingWildlife Babies Signal the Arrival of Spring

The Link — Spring 2022 Newsletter

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:6 mins read

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

Spring is taking its time getting to Central Minnesota this year. For several days in mid-March, warm, sunny days got our hopes up, but those hopes were soon dashed by bone-chilling winds, persistent gray clouds, below-normal temperatures, and s-n-o-w—that we’re still experiencing in mid-April. Despite the weather, though, the distinctive sounds of sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, and red-winged blackbirds in the wetlands have assured us that Mother Nature is still on schedule; and once the ice goes out and we see loons on the lakes, we’ll know for sure that it’s time to start checking ourselves and our pets for ticks. Ah, spring!

The definition of “spring” varies with location, so we’ve asked some Friends from across the country to send us photos of springtime on their refuges and tell us what special activities are in store for people visiting those refuges in the next couple of months. For example, here at Sherburne, there will be the opening of the Wildlife Drive, a couple of bird hikes, a Spring Celebration, and visits from Partner School students as we cautiously proceed to greet visitors in person after the long COVID-19 hiatus. 

We at The Link hope that you’ll enjoy this issue with photos of spring and other features geared to the interests of Friends everywhere.

Our Spring Features Include:

Read All Of The Stories!

Sincerely,
Sue Hix, Editor
Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge


Credits

The Spring 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

Continue ReadingThe Link — Spring 2022 Newsletter

CORFA 2021 Annual Report

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:1 mins read

Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates (CORFA) wants to share our 2021 Annual Report with Friends. CORFA is a community of Friends members collaborating to strengthen our organizations and our ability to support refuges, hatcheries, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2021 was a year of working together to create a network of support by sharing materials and experiences with each other in our Facebook group,webinars, newsletter, and this website.

Photo: W. Lowe/USFWS

Continue ReadingCORFA 2021 Annual Report