, Newburyport, MA

March 29, 2014

Programs at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Newburyport Daily News

---- — The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge will offer the following free public programs during the month of March. Many of the refuge programs require registration. Registrations are not confirmed until the registrant receives a phone call from a member of the refuge staff. Anyone having a question about a refuge program is asked to contact the refuge at 978-465-5753.

“Up Close and Personal” Refuge Tour

Tomorrow, 1 p.m.

Join a refuge ranger for an “up close and personal” tour of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The tour will be conducted via refuge van, with several brief drive-by stops along the way. The tour will provide an insider’s perspective of 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. 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 8 participants; no more than 4 individuals per sign-up. Registration is required for this program. Be advised that individual tours may be subject to cancellation.

Those who call and leave messages after hours, your registration is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation call from a Refuge staff member.

Volunteer Plover Warden Orientation

Today, 9 to 11 a.m.

Do you enjoy speaking with the public, helping wildlife, and spending time on the beach? This orientation will teach you about the piping plover, as well as provide an overview of what it means to serve as a volunteer Plover Warden. Plover Wardens make a significant contribution to the success of the refuge’s piping plover conservation efforts.

As of April 1, most of the refuge beach is closed to all public entry in order to provide undisturbed habitat for this federally threatened species. Plover Wardens are stationed at the north and south ends of the refuge’s six mile-long ocean beach, as well as on the west side of Sandy Point State Reservation (this is an interpretive position).

Plover Wardens greet refuge visitors, informally interpret the refuge’s plover management efforts and notify staff of closure violations. Participants in this session will hear from and be able to ask questions of refuge staff that specialize in biology, law enforcement and visitor services. Attending the session does not obligate you to volunteer. Meet in the refuge visitor center auditorium. Registration is not required.