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.
Whip-poor-will Walk at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Friday, June 1st & Saturday, June 2nd; both at 8:00 p.m.
Have you ever heard a strange bird singing in the background of a movie and wondered what it was? You may have been hearing the song of the whip-poor-will. Join Nancy Landry, refuge volunteer and avid birder, for an evening of listening for the song of the whip-poor-will and other nighttime birds. Participants should meet Nancy in the Hellcat Parking Lot (on the refuge) 15 minutes before the program start time (see date-specific start times, above). Dress appropriately for weather conditions. Preregistration is required; enrollment limited to 15 people.
Behind the Scenes Refuge Tour of Parker River NWR
Held on the following days: Saturday, June 2nd @ 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, June 3rd @ 1:00 p.m.; Sunday, June 10th @ 1:00 p.m.; Monday, June 11th @ 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, June 17th @ 1:00 p.m.; Saturday, June 23rd @ 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, June 24th @ 1:00 p.m.; Saturday, June 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. Preregistration 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.
Evening Program: Nature and Maritime Archaeology
Can Revealing Massachusetts Hidden History Be Used to Better Understand Sea Level Rise and Global Warming
Monday, June 4th, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Archaeologists generally use shipwrecks as windows to the past. However, the archaeological past can inform us about the present and where we can go in the future. For example, how can a shipwreck be used to study a severe storm? This presentation illustrates the effect of changing environmental conditions on shipwrecks and other archaeological sites and how this information can be used to better understand sea level rise and global warming.
Victor T. Mastone is the Director and Chief Archaeologist for the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, Vice President of the North American Society for Oceanic History, and Vice President of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society. Vic earned baccalaureate and masters degrees in Anthropology and was an appointed member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Marine Protected Areas 2008-2011. He is a Visiting Instructor at Salem State University where he teaches a maritime archaeology field school. Spaces in the refuge visitor center's 85-seat auditorium will be filled on a first come, first served basis. This free evening program is sponsored by the Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and the Parker River NWR. NO preregistration for this program.
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge - Behind the Scenes Tour!
Held on the following days: Saturday, June 9th; Thursday, June 14th; Monday, June 18th; Friday, June 29th; all programs are 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 2 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
Let's Go Outside!
Saturday, June 16th, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Mark your calendars! This is the fourth 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.
Tide Pool Discoveries
Monday, June 18th @ 9:00 a.m. & Thursday, June 21st @ 12:30 p.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.
Using Internet Resources to Sharpen Your Sights on Nature
Wednesday, June 20th, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. & Saturday, June 23rd, 10:00 ? 11:30 a.m.
This program will cover a top tier (validated) level sampling of the wealth of nature related Internet resources. The program will focus on coastal environment, oceanic sites, birds and more birds along with a variety of wildlife, geology, weather and other useful Internet sites. The selected sites range from top academic portals to fun and games for the younger nature lovers. Many of the sites we will be covering are not readily accessible through standard Google or other searches. Join us for a highly informative and entertaining program. All participants will leave with a directory of the sites covered during the program as well as numerous others. Program will be conducted in the refuge visitor center auditorium. NO preregistration for this program.
NEW! Bicycle Tour of Great Bay NWR
Friday, June 22nd, 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:
Special Program!: Dam Removal and the Return of Herring
Saturday, June 23rd, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Please join us at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge visitor center for a talk about the removal of dams on the Shawsheen River in Andover and the return of the river herring. Dr. Jon Honea will describe the decisions that led the Andover Conservation Commission to consider the removal of the dams, the actual removal, and the subsequent return of river herring to the river. He will describe the citizen science project of counting herring as they now swim upriver each spring.
Dr. Honea's research focuses on the influence of environmental change, including restoration and climate change, on species, populations, and communities of organisms. He teaches courses in ecology and conservation, sustainability science, water resource use, environmental economics, and science communication at Emerson College. He's also a conservation commissioner for the town of Andover, Massachusetts.
This program is jointly sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Bird Club, Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. No preregistration for this program.
Great Bay Shoreline Cleanup
Saturday, June 23rd, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
With the help of community volunteers, we can keep our bay clean. Volunteers will be guided by
USFWS personnel to closed areas of the refuge where they will remove garbage and debris from the
shoreline. Let's promote clean water and a healthy environment for wildlife and people! Groups and
families are welcome. We advise wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy boots. Bring
sunscreen, bug spray, a light snack and water. Supplies provided include trash bags, gloves, and data
tracking sheets. Meet at the parking lot at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Sign up online
at: https://naturegroupie.org .
Evening Program: Plum Island in a Changing Climate
Monday, June 25th, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Wildlife Biologist Nancy Pau will discuss the various wildlife and habitats of the refuge and how they have fared with changing conditions. She will present research that seeks to understand the changes and how the land and wildlife are adapting, as well as some strategies to help the barrier island be more resilient.
Nancy Pau has been at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge since 2002. One of the most respected biologists in the Northeast Region, she was recognized by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as the 2012 Regional Biologist of the Year. Nancy has led the refuge?s collaborations with academia and conservation organizations on a range of projects including salt marsh degradation, salt marsh sparrow ecology and genetics, piping plover and least tern protection and productivity, and New England cottontail captive rearing.
Spaces in the refuge visitor center's 85-seat auditorium will be filled on a first come, first served basis. This free evening program is sponsored by the Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and the Parker River NWR. NO preregistration 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.