The Link — Winter 2022 Newsletter

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:8 mins read
Winter 2022 issue of The Link

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:

Read All Of The Stories!

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 And please add 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 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 — Winter 2022 Newsletter

Spotlight on Assabet River NWR

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Last month, CORFA began asking Friends to post photos of their Refuge/Hatchery. We love seeing and learning about Refuges/Hatcheries across the country and what a great way to meet Friends and interact more with each other.  There were so many amazing photos posted. The first profile is of Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge and Nicole Souza’s stunning photos of fungi! 

Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 3.5 square miles located within the Massachusetts towns of Hudson, Maynard, Stow, and Sudbury. The refuge is on the original homelands of the Nipmuc People. The name “Assabet” is likely from the Nipmuc dialect, but the exact meaning is uncertain. It seems to refer to the marshy nature of the area, described as meaning “the place where materials for making fishnet grows,” “a mire-y place,” and “at the place where the river turns back.” Indeed, the refuge features a large wetland complex, several smaller wetlands and vernal pools and large forested portions, which are important feeding and breeding areas for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Assabet River NWR was established in 2000 when the U.S. Army transferred 2,230 acres to the USFWS to be part of the NWRS. The Refuge opened in 2005. The property was a training annex & had been placed off-limits by the Army since 1942 when they acquired it for an ammunition storage facility. Before World War II, the area consisted of small family farms and wood lots, some dating back to colonial times. 

Would you like your Refuge/Hatchery to be recognized next month? Post your photos often in the Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates Facebook group and “challenge” Friends from other Refuges/Hatcheries.  Thanks again Nicole! Who would you like to tag to share their photos?

Continue ReadingSpotlight on Assabet River NWR