NEWBURYPORT — The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is offering the following free programs. Space may be limited, and advance registration is required for all programs, unless otherwise indicated. Call 978-465-5753 to register. Registration is not complete until you receive confirmation from a staff member. Note that outdoor programs may be canceled if there is inclement weather. Visit us on the Web for more information at http://parkerriver.fws.gov or call refuge headquarters. The refuge visitor center is at 6 Plum Island Turnpike.
"Behind-the-scenes" refuge tour
Held on the following days: Saturday, March 17, at 9:30 a.m.; Thursday, March 22, at 9:30 a.m.; and Wednesday, March 28, at 1 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 will visit areas on the refuge otherwise closed to the public. This guided two-hour program is most appropriate for adults. Binoculars and/or a camera are recommended but not required. Meet the ranger in the lobby of the refuge visitor center. Each session is limited to 10 participants.
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 having received a confirmation call back from a refuge staff member.
"Insight to Education" — a workshop for local educators
Wednesday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to noon
Local educators both formal and non-formal are invited to join a refuge staff member for a free three-hour, hands-on workshop that will focus on how this national wildlife refuge can be a valuable educational resource and/or field trip destination for a diversity of learning groups. Participants will meet at the refuge headquarters.
Advance registration is required for this program, as space is limited. Register by March 14 by calling 978-465-5753. Please note: Those who call and leave messages after hours, your registration is not confirmed until having received a confirmation call back from a refuge staff member. This program may be subject to cancellation pending enrollment.
Friday, March 23, at 6 p.m.
Every spring, the American woodcock attracts a mate by singing its heart out at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Join us for an evening display of the woodcock's song and sky dance. Participants will meet at the VCS center in Parking Lot 1 of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge at 6 p.m. Dress appropriately for weather conditions. A flashlight or headlight is also suggested. Advance registration is required for this program, as enrollment is limited to 15 people. Call 978-465-5753 to register.
Those who call and leave messages after hours, your registration is not confirmed until having received a confirmation call back from a refuge staff member.
Calling all plover wardens!
Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m. to noon
From April through mid-August, the refuge beach is closed for the piping plover, a federally threatened species. Help us protect the beach, educate visitors and get a lot of fresh air. This orientation is open the adult public. Attendance does not obligate you to volunteer. No registration required. Meet at the Refuge Visitor Center.
Slow the Flow Workshop
Saturday, March 31, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is launching a "Slow the Flow" campaign to help North Shore residents protect the Plum Island Sound watershed by reducing water pollution and water use in their own backyards. "Slow the Flow" is also offering homeowners five to 10 grants of $500 to $1,000 each to make lawns and landscaping more water-conservation friendly. Workshop topics include Health of the Ipswich and Parker Rivers, Effects of Fertilizer Runoff to our Salt Marshes, How to "Greenscape" and Organic Lawn Care. See the Web page for more information: www.PIESlowTheFlow.com.
There is a $10 registration fee to cover catered lunch at the workshop. Contact the refuge at 978-465-5753 to reserve a seat. Participants will meet at the refuge visitor center and headquarters.
Help us clean up the beach
Saturday, March 31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The piping plovers are getting ready to nest on the sandy dunes of Plum Island. Come help them out by providing a clean place to live! Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island. Meet at Lot 1
Call 978-465-5753 for directions and/or more information.