07/01/2019 – Join Us for Free, Fun, Programs! Parker River National Wildlife Refuge July, 2019

Local Interest
Join Us for Free, Fun, Programs!
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
July, 2019 
 
Beach Discoveries
Wednesdays: July 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 
Join us this summer for a drop-in public program  at parking lot 1.  Come discover what makes Plum Island beaches special.  Discover the sand under your feet, explore a wrack line, learn about the animals that call our beaches home, and meet some live beach creatures like sea stars, sea urchins, hermit crabs and moon snails provided by Joppa Flats Education Center’s Traveling Touch Tank.  This is a drop-in program; preregistration is not required.  The program is great for families and appropriate for all ages.  In case of inclement weather, the program will be in the visitor contact station, next to the Lot 1 restrooms. 
 
Tide Pool Discoveries
Monday, July 8th & Monday, July 22nd; both programs begin at 10:00 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.
 
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge - Behind the Scenes Tour!
Tuesday, July 9th; Thursday, July 18th; Tuesday, July 23rd; ALL 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
 
Conservation Cinema: The Serengeti Rules 
Tuesday, July 9th @ 7:00 p.m.
This film won the prestigious ACFF “Green Fire” award: Beginning in the 1960s, a small band of young scientists headed out into the wilderness, driven by an insatiable curiosity about how nature works. Immersed in some of the most remote and spectacular places on Earth—from the majestic Serengeti to the Amazon jungle, from the Arctic Ocean to Pacific tide pools—they discovered a single set of rules that govern all life.  Now in the twilight of their eminent careers, these five unsung heroes of modern ecology share the stories of their adventures, reveal how their pioneering work flipped our view of nature on its head, and give us a chance to re-imagine the world as it could and should be.  Film will be shown in the refuge visitor center’s very fine auditorium.  Trailer:  https://www.theserengetirules.com/#wistia-3pilmwgg6d  (2017; film runtime: 84 minutes). No preregistration for this program. 
 
Bicycle Tour of Great Bay NWR
Friday, July 12th & Friday, July 26th; 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:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Great_Bay/visit/plan_your_visit.htm
 
Behind the Scenes Refuge Tour of Parker River NWR
Saturday, July 13th @ 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, July 14th @ 1:00 p.m.; Sunday, July 21st @ 1:00 p.m.; Saturday, July 27th @ 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, July 28th @ 1:00 p.m.; Tuesday, July 30th @ 9:30 a.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. 
Nelson Island Tour
Monday, July 15th, 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.
 
Piping Plover Program
Tuesday, July 16th, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. (rain date July 18th)
Join our refuge biologist for a trip to the beach and learn how our local piping plovers are doing this season, and what the refuge is doing to help them. This unique experience will be full of behind-the-scenes viewing with opportunities to see adults and chicks as they forage and brood! Several pairs of binoculars and a spotting scope will be provided, but please bring your own binoculars if you have them. Prepare for light walking, as well as potentially sunny and buggy conditions.  Meet the program leader in the lobby of the visitor center.  Preregistration is required.
 
Climate Change – Behind the Scenes!
Friday, July 19th, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. & Thursday, July 25th, 9:30 – 11:30 a.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.
 
Yankee Homecoming 2019
Newburyport’s Shipbuilding and Shipyards
Saturday, July 27th, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Join Ghlee Woodworth for a visual tour of shipbuilding and shipyards from Joppa to upper Merrimack Street.  For more than 170 years from the 1700’s to the mid-1800’s, Newburyport’s commerce rivaled Salem and Boston, and wharves along the Merrimack River produced more ship tonnage than any other seaport on the East Coast.  Vessels built in Newburyport were known around the world for their expert workmanship; out-of-state and foreign investors eagerly bought interests on Newburyport vessels.  Hear the stories and see images of the wharves, businesses, and people along the Newburyport waterfront.
 
A native of Newburyport and descendant of a first settler of Newbury, Ghlee worked in academia and the Peace Corps before returning home to become a local historian.  Her first book, Tiptoe Through the Tombstones, has won a number of awards.  She created and designed an award-winning on-line series of self-guided history tours - Clipper Heritage Trail - and is in the process of writing a book about the trail and the hidden history of Newburyport.  She has guided countless tours and made numerous presentations; she’s been involved in several gravestone restoration projects in Newburyport and other communities; and she has helped raise funds for gravestone restoration and for Newburyport’s historic Brown Chapel.
 
Spaces in the refuge’s 85-seat auditorium will be filled on a first come, first served basis.  This free program is co-sponsored by the Friends of Parker River NWR and the Parker River NWR.  NO preregistration for this program.  
 
 
Yankee Homecoming 2019
Plum Island - New England’s Cradle of Aviation
Sunday, July 28th, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
The Great Marsh in Newbury was the site of New England’s first flying field where, in 1910, W. Starling Burgess built a hangar and wooden runway where the dunes meet the marsh, near the current location of Parking Lot #2 in the Parker River NWR.  The planes were brought there by boat; numerous test flights occurred and crowds visited the airfield to watch.  Learn about Burgess, his colleagues, and the intrepid pilots who worked here from April to August 1910 to perfect their aircraft and their skills.  Hear about the current Plum Island Airport’s use for civil defense, pilot training, commerce and recreation.  In 1971, the Little family donated the historic Spencer-Peirce-Little farm, which includes the airport, to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, now Historic New England.  The airport now operates under the name Plum Island Aerodrome, Inc., which leases from HNE.   
 
Ted Russell is a professional genealogist after retiring from a 36-year engineering career at GE Aviation.  He is co-founder and past president of Plum Island Community Airfield, a grassroots group that saved the airport from closing in 2001 and operated it until 2005.  In 2002, he led a team of local volunteers that founded the Burgess Aviation Museum at the airport.  He was previously on the board of the Massachusetts Aviation Historical Society and was a commissioner of the Essex National Heritage Commission.  Ted holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of Illinois.  
 
Spaces in the refuge’s 85-seat auditorium will be filled on a first come, first served basis.  This free program is co-sponsored by the Friends of Parker River NWR and the Parker River NWR.  NO preregistration for this program.
 
 
               
 
 
               
 

These Visitor Center Exhibits Change Monthly:
 
Artist of the Month GalleryEach month a different photographer or artist displays their nature and/or wildlife-related fine art in the refuge visitor center auditorium.  
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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.
 
 

 
 
 
~~FWS~~

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