For more than 100 years the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) has focused on setting aside land and water as safe havens for wildlife, fish and plants, researching environmental concerns, working toward the protection of endangered species, as well as other conservation efforts. On March 9, 2013 the National Wildlife Visitor Center at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Maryland hosted the NWRS 110th Anniversary Birthday Celebration.
The celebration consisted of wildlife conservation tram tours, refuge history walks, live music, and a hands-on area with different animal pelts and other items to learn about. There were also displays with information on current conservation projects, such as the efforts to remove the Whooping Crane from the endangered species list.
Activities for children included coloring, crafts, live animal shows, a nature scavenger hunt, games, and story-time and book signing with children’s author Jennifer Keats Curtis. The nature trails were put to use by visitors participating in the scavenger hunt, wildlife and nature photography, and bird watching.
The visitor center also has regular exhibits where you can learn about the habitats and migrations of different fish, wildlife and birds. There are several lakes and ponds attracting migratory birds like the Canada Goose. Fishing and hunting are also permitted during certain seasons in designated areas of the refuge. The visitor center and nature trails are open daily, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The National Wildlife Visitor Center will also be hosting their annual Patuxent Wildlife Art Show and Sale. The event starts on Friday, March 22, 2013, and will end on Sunday, March 24, 2013. For more information, please visit www.friendsofpatuxent.org.