U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Join Us for Free, Fun, Programs!
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
REGISTRATION & CAPACITY:
All refuge programs are FREE, but space may be limited. Preregistration is required for all programs, unless otherwise indicated. Please call (978) 465-5753. Please Note: If a program requires preregistration, your registration is not confirmed unless and until you receive a phone call or voice mail message from a member of the refuge staff.
Programs conducted in the auditorium are limited to 85 attendees. Seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission of additional attendees will stop when capacity has been reached.
Please note that outdoor programs may be cancelled if there is inclement weather and/or insufficient registration. Visit us on the web for more information: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/parker_river/ or call Refuge Headquarters. The refuge visitor center is located at 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA.
Behind the Scenes Refuge Tour of Parker River NWR
Held on the following days: Saturday, June 1st @ 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, June 2nd @ 1:00 p.m.; Sunday, June 9th @ 1:00 p.m.; Tuesday, June 11th @ 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, June 23rd @ 1:00 p.m.; Tuesday, June 25th @ 9:30 a.m.; Saturday, June 29th @ 9:30 a.m.; & Sunday, June 30th @ 1:00 p.m.
Join a refuge ranger for a behind the scenes tour of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Tour will be conducted via refuge van, with several brief “drive by” stops along the way. The tour will present an “up close and personal” look at the refuge through the multiple lenses of the cultural history of Plum Island and the Great Marsh, native wildlife and their habitats, and the role of refuge management in the conservation of these precious natural resources. Participants may be driven along areas on the refuge otherwise closed to the public. This guided two hour program is most appropriate for older teens and adults. Binoculars and/or a camera are recommended, but not required. Meet the ranger in the lobby of the Refuge visitor center 15 minutes prior to the program start time. Each session is limited to 14 participants; no more than 4 individuals per sign-up. Again, this is a vehicle – based tour, with limited stops on the Refuge. Advance registration is required for this program, as enrollment is limited. Be advised that individual tours may be subject to cancellation. *Please note: Those who call and leave messages after hours, your registration is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation call from a refuge staff member. Please call (978) 465-5753; to register for this program.
Bicycle Tour of Great Bay NWR
Tuesday, June 4th & Thursday, June 27th; both sessions 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Join a refuge ranger for a behind the scenes tour, by bicycle, of Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge,
located in Newington, NH. Participants will have an opportunity to visit areas of the refuge that are not
normally open to the public. See a diversity of habitats and learn how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
is managing this very special landscape for wildlife. Cyclists will travel over generally level terrain on a
combination of paved and unpaved surfaces. The distance covered will depend on how many stops are
made and how much time is spent at each stop. Tour duration will be about 2 hours. Appropriate for
adults and children age 16 or older. Each participant must provide a either a hybrid or mountain
bike, helmet, and water bottle. Insect repellant, sun block, binoculars and/or a camera are optional
(provided these items can be safely stowed while biking). Meet the ranger in the Great Bay NWR
parking lot 15 minutes before the tour start time. Limited to 10 participants. Preregistration
required. For directions to the refuge, click on this link:
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge - Behind the Scenes Tour!
Held on the following days: Thursday, June 6th & Tuesday, June 18th – both sessions 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Join a refuge ranger for a behind the scenes tour of Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, located in Newington, NH. Participants will have an opportunity to visit areas of the refuge that are not normally open to the public. See a diversity of wildlife habitats while learning how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is managing this very special landscape for conservation. Consider bringing along binoculars and a camera. The tour is limited to 8 participants; no more than 4 individuals per sign-up. This is a vehicle-based tour, with limited stops on the refuge. This guided program is most appropriate for older teens. and adults. Meet the ranger in the lobby of the Parker River NWR visitor center in Newburyport no later than 9:00 am OR in the Great Bay NWR parking lot in Newington, NH no later than 9:45 am. (Indicate location you prefer at time of registration.) Be advised that individual tours may be subject to cancellation. *Please note: Those who call and leave messages after hours, your registration is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation call from a refuge staff member. Please call (978) 465-5753 to register for this program. Preregistration required. For directions to the refuge, click on this link: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Great_Bay/visit/plan_your_visit.html
Tide Pool Discoveries
Friday, June 7th & Friday, June 21st, both sessions at 9:00 a.m.
For generations children have enjoyed exploring tide pools and discovering the fascinating plants and animals that live in this realm between the tides. A refuge ranger will guide this hands-on program. Appropriate for children age 5 – 10. Each session is limited to 15 children. Each session is 90 minutes long, allowing time for travel to and from the beach. Meet the ranger at the visitor contact station at parking lot 1. Parent/guardian must remain with his/her child for the entire duration of this program. Preregistration is required for this program.
Climate Change – Behind the Scenes!
Monday, June 10th, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. & Wednesday, June 26th, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This variant of our popular Behind the Scenes Tour of Parker River NWR will place a special emphasis on the local implications of climate change – particularly on the salt marsh and the barrier beach island that protects it. Learn about some of the things that refuge staff are doing to better understand and predict potential future impacts of climate change on wildlife and their habitats. Meet the ranger in the lobby of the refuge visitor center 10 – 15 minutes prior to start time. Preregistration required.
Let’s Go Outside!
Saturday, June 15th, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Mark your calendars! This is the fifth year for our FREE and very cool event for the whole family. Spend all or part of a day outside at the refuge while trying out a whole bunch of fun, healthy activities including archery target shooting, kayaking, surf fishing, nature photography, and bird watching. There will also be a variety of nature-based crafts and activities for younger kids. While event “activity stations” will be located both at the visitor center and on the national wildlife refuge, we recommend that you begin your event experience at the visitor center. Complete all activity stations and earn a Junior Refuge Manager badge and a water bottle! Activity stations will run continuously throughout the day. This event will take place rain or shine. NO preregistration for this event.
Nelson Island Tour
Monday, June 17th, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Explore another part of the refuge – this time, on the mainland. Join a ranger for a tour of a beautiful spot that few people visit: Nelson Island. If we’re lucky, we might catch a glimpse of a nesting osprey. Learn about the history of this little known refuge jewel. If weather and tide permits, we’ll take a very short walk along the marsh. (Muddy, wet areas are possible so rubber boots are recommended.) Consider bringing binoculars and/or a camera. Meet the ranger in the lobby of the refuge visitor center 15 minutes prior to program start time. Preregistration required for this program.
Conservation Cinema: High Tide in Dorchester
Tuesday, June 18th @ 7:00 p.m.
High Tide in Dorchester is a film that encourages discussions and actions concerning sea level rise, erosion and climate change in Dorchester County, MD. The film creates a powerful, intimate story that looks at a worsening global threat through the lens of Chesapeake Bay’s most vulnerable county. This case study of what is happening now along Maryland’s eastern shore certainly provides food for thought, particularly for those among us who live along the New England coast. Film will be shown in the refuge visitor center’s very fine auditorium. No preregistration for this program. (2018; film runtime: 55 minutes)
Birding Parker River NWR!
Saturday, June 22nd, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
During this ranger-led program, look for birds on the refuge at such places as the Pines Trail, Boardwalk 5 Overlook and, if there’s time, along Wildlife Drive in the Hellcat area. Bring binoculars if you have them. Cameras are also welcome. Supportive walking shoes are a must. Bug spray and/or sunscreen is recommended. Meet in the visitor center lobby and plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. Preregistration required for this program.
These Visitor Center Exhibits Change Monthly:
Artist of the Month Gallery: Each month a different photographer or artist displays their nature and/or wildlife-related fine art in the refuge visitor center auditorium.
Photographic Society Slide Show: Just inside the visitor center’s front door is a large video monitor that displays the latest nature and wildlife-themed slide show that was produced by members of the refuge’s very own photo club. A new slide show, set to music, and focusing on a unique theme, is produced each month.