Friends Photo Contest Winner for March

There is a winner! Bob Glennon is the winner of the March Photo Contest whose theme was the “Refuge System’s Birthday. Friends were encouraged to show what makes their refuge unique.

Bob shared with us captivating photos of the early bloomers at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. These early bloomers will produce the berries the black bears that reside on the refuge. Bob, also captured a great photo of the black bear.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a 160,000-acre refuge on the mainland of Dare County in northeastern North Carolina. It was established in 1984 under the authority of the Emergency Wetland Conservation Act. The refuge is underlain by hydric (wetland) soils, most of which are deep organic (muck and peat) soils. The refuge was established to protect those wetlands and the pocosin plant community that exists there. The refuge is home to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s trust species migratory birds (waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and songbirds) and endangered species (red wolves). Black bears are a resident species and are a notable attraction to refuge visitors for wildlife observation and photography. The peninsula on which the refuge is located has the largest population density of black bears in North Carolina. The pocosin habitat has a dense understory of shrubs that produce an abundance of berries. Male bears (boars) can be seen year-round. Female bears (sows) bring their cubs out into open fields in May and they can be seen throughout the summer and fall.

The Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society manages 4 refuge stores at different refuges and coordinates 200 volunteers who donate an average of 25,000 hours of service every year on the area’s 9 refuges. The Society employs a full time store manager and volunteer coordinator. Volunteers staff the visitor centers and refuge stores; maintain buildings, grounds, and equipment; lead tours, and conduct programs.

Continue ReadingFriends Photo Contest Winner for March

Friends Photo Contest Winner for February

Our Photo Contest for February brought in so many spectacular photos. One small change-only in the event of a tie, will the two photos go to NWRA’s Facebook page to determine the winner. We are still working out all the “kinks” for this and appreciate your patience.      

For February the winning photo taken by Dale Bales, is of a bison and a fiery red sunset at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City, Iowa. Linda Frazier has other photos of the Refuge.    

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa was established in 1990 with the purpose to protect, restore and reconstruct and manage native ecosystems of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna and sedge meadow. Prior to European-American settlement, tallgrass prairie covered 85% of Iowa. Today, less than 0.1% of Iowa’s prairie remains in small isolated fragments. In an effort to bring back native prairie plant communities, refuge staff and volunteers gathered and used local seed sources to replant or reconstruct 4,000 acres of tallgrass prairie.

Today, the refuge protects over 6,000 acres of wildlife habitat and provides visitors, students, researchers and local landowners with educational, recreational and volunteer opportunities to learn about and enjoy their native tallgrass prairie heritage.

The Friends of Neal Smith NWR exists to assist the Refuge and the staff in a variety of ways. Helping with publicity, including through funding of a billboard is ongoing. Concerts, Bison Days, trail walks, guest speakers, gatherings of Friends group members, volunteer work days, art exhibits, photography contest and exhibits, scholarships, funding of transportation for school field trips, funding for internships, greeting visitors and operating the Nature Store are just some of the ways in which the Friends of NSNWR are involved with this special Refuge. 

Continue ReadingFriends Photo Contest Winner for February

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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Spotlight on Assabet River NWR

  • Post category:News
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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?

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Friends Share the Marvels of your Refuge or Hatchery!

Friends members post photos of your Refuge/Hatchery (or of a Refuge/Hatchery you have visited) as often as you would like on the Coalition if Refuge Friends and Advocates (CORFA) Facebook group. When you post photos, your Refuge/Hatchery could be chosen for the monthly “spotlight”. If chosen, your Refuge/Hatchery will have a special profile on the CORFA Facebook page, website.

This program will be a great way to celebrate the wonder and beauty of the Refuge System and explore our similarities and differences. Every Refuge/Hatchery is unique – let’s share this with each other and grow awareness of these extraordinary places.

When you post a photo, please include a short description, the name of the Refuge/Hatchery, the state it is located in and your name. This opportunity if for members of Friends organizations that support refuges and hatcheries managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By posting your photo, you agree that CORFA and potentially other partners can use the photo in their social media.So, get out your camera and share what you love about your Refuge/Hatchery!

Photo of one of the older bull bison at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City, Iowa. This bison was born in 2003. Each year the new calves have a microchip implanted, blood drawn and a hair sample taken so the Refugee staff can track their age, DNA and other vital statistics.
Photo credit: Joan Van Gorp/Friends of Neal Smith NWR, IA

Continue ReadingFriends Share the Marvels of your Refuge or Hatchery!