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.
In Honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week:
Walk Along the North Pool Dike at Parker River NWR!
Sunday, October 13th thru Sunday, October 20th – open sunrise to sunset
Once again, in honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week, refuge visitors will be able to take a walk along the North Pool Dike, between the North Pool Overlook and Hellcat. Take advantage of this special opportunity to enjoy a new perspective of both the Great Marsh and the refuge’s largest impoundment. (Please note: Bicycles will not be allowed on the dike.)
Behind the Scenes Refuge Tour of Parker River NWR
Tuesday, October 1st @ 9:30 a.m.; Saturday, October 5th @ 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, October 6th @ 1:00 p.m.; Monday, October 21st @ 9:30 a.m.; and Sunday, October 27th @ 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. Preregistration required. Please call (978) 465-5753 to register.
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge - Behind the Scenes Tour!
Thursday, October 3rd & Friday, October 25th; 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
Focus on Birds: Special Behind the Scenes Tour of Parker River NWR
Tuesday, October 8th; 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
This special edition of the refuge’s Behind the Scenes (BTS) tour will be led by veteran birder, and refuge volunteer, Bill Gette. While the tour will follow the usual BTS route, the leader will place a special emphasis on the birds that are typically found on the refuge in the fall. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars, if they have them. Tour is limited to 14 participants. Meet the tour leader in the refuge visitor center lobby 15 minutes before the program start time. This program is most appropriate for teens and adults. Preregistration required.
Climate Change – Behind the Scenes Tour!
Thursday, October 10th & Monday, October 28th; Both Sessons @ 9:30 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.
Bicycle Tour of Great Bay NWR
Friday, October 11th, 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:
Macro Photo Shoot in a Cranberry Bog
Saturday, October 12th, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
The refuge contains a number of naturally formed cranberry bogs within the low depressions of Plum Island’s dune lands. Join Ranger Poole for a special opportunity to photograph, ‘up close and personal,’ some of the interesting plants that live in this very special and delicate habitat. Learn and practice the fundamentals of “macro photography.” Program is limited to 10 people. Appropriate for adults or children age 16 and above. Participants should (of course!), bring a camera and (if they have one), bring a tripod. Meet the ranger on the deck of the visitor contact station at Parking Lot 1. Preregistration required for this program.
Refuge Week Films (All films shown in the visitor center auditorium.)
America’s Wildest Refuge – Discovering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Tuesday, October 15th; 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Tucked into a remote corner of Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a place where wilderness is experienced on an epic scale. From forested lowlands in the south to the towering mountains of the Brooks Range and north to the coastal plains, this is where we can go back in time to see how the earth was before modern civilization. With sweeping views of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, its wildlife, and interviews with those that know it best, America's Wildest Refuge is an ecological and historical portrait of this corner of Alaska. Establishment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on December 6, 1960 was a milestone in conservation history. (2010; Runtime: 55 mins.)
Rachel Carson’s A Sense of Wonder
Thursday, October 17th @ 7:00 p.m. AND Friday, October 18th @ 1:00 p.m.
When pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson published "Silent Spring" in 1962, the backlash from her critics thrust her into the center of a political maelstrom. Despite her private persona, her convictions about the risks posed by chemical pesticides forced her into the role of controversial public figure. Using many of Miss Carson's own words, actress Kaiulani Lee embodies this extraordinary woman in a documentary style film which depicts Carson in the final year of her life. Struggling with cancer, Carson recounts with both humor and anger the attacks by the chemical industry, the government and the press as she focuses her limited energy to get her message to Congress and the American people.
Beautifully shot in HD by Academy Award®-winning cinematographer, Haskell Wexler, at Carson's cottage in Maine, the film is an intimate and poignant portrait of Carson's life as she emerges as America's most successful advocate for the natural world. Based on Kaiulani Lee's popular play of the same name. (2008; Runtime: 55 mins.)
Meet a Wild Cranberry Bog – Up Close and Personal!
Wednesday, October 16th & Wednesday, October 23rd; BOTH programs 10:30 a.m. – Noon
Learn about wild cranberries, and the natural bogs where they are found, on the refuge. This is a program for all ages. Meet the ranger at the visitor contact station at Parking Lot 1, where everyone will meet before heading over to the cranberry bog. After learning about cranberry history, and the bog ecosystem with its soil structure, plant, and animal components, we will each pick a small bag of cranberries to take home. Please wear waterproof boots and come dressed for the weather. Preregistration required.
Great Bay Walkabout Saturday
Saturday, October 19th; 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
This is a special event to celebrate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuge Week! Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 1100 acres of beautiful New Hampshire forests, fields, and shoreline. On this Saturday in October, visitors will be welcome to explore, on foot, certain areas of the refuge that are normally closed to the public. Enjoy expansive views of Great Bay from Woodman Point. Participate in a guided tour inside of the former weapons storage area, where you can walk inside of a Cold War-era bunker and learn about the refuge’s important role in helping the rare New England cottontail. Tours will be offered hourly, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Note: Pedestrian access only into the normally closed areas of the refuge. Please no bikes and no pets.) NO preregistration for this event; simply show up! Here are directions to the refuge: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Great_Bay/visit/plan_your_visit.html
Goldilocks of Marsh Hydrology (Not too wet; not too dry!)
Tuesday, October 22nd; 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Marshes live and die by the tides. At Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, we are studying how the rising seas affect salt marshes, and have experimented with how to restore hydrology, where needed. Many of our projects mitigate past alterations that either kept too much water on the marsh or drained the marsh too much. Come tour our restoration sites and see how we are using a suite of low-cost techniques to make marshes healthy and resilient. This is a walking tour of the salt marsh. Participants must be able to walk moderate distances on wet, uneven surfaces. Bring knee-high rubber boots. Meet in the lobby of the refuge visitor center. Program is intended for adults or teens (age 16 and up). Group size limited to 10 people. Preregistration is required.