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Information iconJ.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, FL. (Photo: George Gentry/USFWS)

October 10 - 16, 2021

Rediscover your nature at a national wildlife refuge. National Wildlife Refuge Week, observed the second full week of October each year, celebrates the great network of lands and waters that conserves and protects Americans’ precious wildlife heritage.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provides vital habitat for thousands of native species, including sandhill cranes, American alligators, bison and sea turtles. National wildlife refuges offer outstanding recreation, too. Refuge Week is a perfect time to see why tens of millions of Americans visit refuges each year to enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking and wildlife watching.

Wildlife refuges also add to Americans’ comfort and safety by curbing flood risk and wildfire damage, providing cleaner air and water, and supporting local communities. (Story: “11 Ways Wildlife Refuges Make Life Better.”) In carrying out the Refuge System’s wildlife conservation mission, under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, wildlife refuges pump $3.2 billion per year into regional economies and support more than 41,000 jobs.

The Refuge System includes 567 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts covering 95 million acres of land. Below are some events for Refuge Week 2020. Check your nearest wildlife refuge for events as the week draws closer.


Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO. (Photo: Ian Shive/USFWS)

2020 Events

October 11-17
“Live Your Wild” Virtual and In-Person Activities
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida  

October 11-17     
Video Debut
San Diego National Wildlife Refuge
Enjoy a new video about the Bayshore Birding and Walking Trail, located at the refuge’s South Bay unit. The video will be published to the refuge Facebook page.  

October 11-17
Junior Ranger and BioBlitz Fun
Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges
Enjoy an at-home series of Junior Ranger activities and refuge spotlight videos on our refuges’ Facebook page, @SoutheastLouisiana. Visit the refuge in person to take part in its week-long BioBlitz through iNaturalist. Top observers will receive a prize from the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc.

October 11-17
Scavenger Hunt, Trivia Contest and More
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Texas   
All events will be available on the refuge Facebook page.

October 16   
Friday Night Bug Lights
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, southeast Texas
Take home a beginner moth sheet kit and join a virtual meet and greet with local insect enthusiasts. Free. Sign up by October 10.

October 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  
“Day in the Wild” Challenge
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, New York
Explore refuge trails and observation areas, using a Challenge packet to guide you and a nature journal to help you document your experience. Pick these up at the visitor center beginning at 9 a.m. Take a selfie with #MontezumaWild signs posted along your journey and show them at checkout. Complete the Challenge to receive a Montezuma Wild commemorative hat!

October 17
Video Premiere
Great Plains Nature Center, Kansas
Head to the park for an outdoor showing of two new videos. One is a Halloween-themed video, focusing on campfire stories tied to nightmares about creepy crawlies. The other is a new video showcasing the National Wildlife Refuge System. Learn more on the center’s Facebook page.

The center is an urban community partnership, affiliated with Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and the Kansas National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Information iconBosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM. (Photo: Marvin De Jong)