Dear Refuge Friends,
Welcome to “The Link” - the newest way the National Wildlife Refuge Association would like to connect with refuge Friends nationwide - and connect Friends to each other! The Link is a newsletter that will highlight events and programs Friends are conducting from prairies to mountains and cities to sea. Each month we’ll report on these issues and also call for information about upcoming events that you can share with each other. For instance, in the summer, we will ask Friends to share Halloween ideas so that other Friends considering putting on a similar event have enough lead time to think about hosting something as well.
We at the Refuge Association know that Friends are the glue that holds our Refuge System family together. The work Friends and volunteers accomplish on refuges is equal to an additional 640 full time equivalent staff throughout the Refuge System.
So, please take a gander and let us know what you think! If you have ideas for future issues or would like to submit something your group has done or is working on, please contact our Communications Associate, Eden Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Spring and thanks for everything you do!
Geoffrey Haskett, President
This Earth Day Friends Groups from across the country put on many great events supporting their National Wildlife Refuge! In this newsletter we would like to highlight some of them to showcase them and also serve as inspiration for your Friends Group's Earth Day event next year!
- Cleanup: Friends of Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge (ME) coordinated a two day cleanup event with their partners. Over 1,500 pieces of foam, glass and plastic were collected during the event.
- Education & Engagement: The Friends of the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge (FL) hosted elementary age children to the refuge teaching them about why Earth Day was created and its importance. The children also engaged in many other fun activities including, talks on marine animals and the dangers of marine debris and visits to the refuge's bat house and log cabin.
- Festivals & Fairs: Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society (Friends of Coastal North Carolina Refuges) celebrated with USFWS and other partners at the annual Earth Fair OBX (Outer Banks) near Nags Head, NC where they had a table setup to engage with the public. A town litter cleanup also took place in coordination with the event.
This Earth Day we launched our Wisdom Campaign working with Kim Steutermann Rogers, a local artist/photographer, longtime Friends member of Kilauea Point Natural History Association (and now a founding member of Friends of Hanalei NWR, HI) and owner of Albatography. Her beautiful bracelets are hand-stamped with Wisdom's band number and we are giving them away with each $100 donation to the National Wildlife Refuge Association and $5 of every gift will go directly to the Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge for on-the-ground work to protect Wisdom’s home.