NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

May 3, 2014

Programs at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge


Newburyport Daily News

---- — Parker River National Wildlife Refuge will offer the following free public programs during the month of May.M any 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 can contact the refuge at 978-465-5753.

“BEHIND THE SCENES” REFUGE TOUR

Sunday, May 4, 1 p.m.; Friday, May 9, 1 p.m.; Saturday, May 10, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, May 11, 1 p.m.; Friday, May 16, 9:30 a.m.; Saturday, May 17, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, May 18, 1 p.m.; Monday, May 19, 1 p.m.; Saturday, May 24, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, May 25, 1 p.m.; Saturday, May 31, 9:30 a.m.

Join a refuge ranger for a behind the scenes tour of 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 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 8 participants; no more than 4 individuals per sign-up. Registration is required for this program, as enrollment is limited. Be advised that individual tours may be subject to cancellation.

SPECIAL FILM SCREENING, “SHORED UP”

Wednesday, May 7 at 7 p.m.

The Storm Surge Spring Speaker Series continues with a screening of Shored Up, the first feature-length film about rising sea levels in the United States. It asks tough questions about our coastal communities and our relationship to the land, utilizing footage captured in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, specifically in New Jersey and North Carolina. This film won the Sundance Award for best documentary in 2013. It will be shown in the visitor center auditorium. Venue capacity is limited to 75 attendees. Admission to this program is free and registration is not required.

WHIP-POOR-WILL WALKS

Friday, May 9, Saturday, May 10, and Saturday, May 31, 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Have you ever heard a strange bird singing on the background soundtrack 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 distinctive song of the whip-poor-will (and for the songs of other nighttime birds, as well). Participants will meet at the visitor contact station at parking Lot 1 of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Dress appropriately for weather conditions. Registration is required; enrollment limited to 15 people.

THE PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY OF PARKER RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Saturday, May 10 at 1:30 p.m. in the visitor center auditorium

The Photographic Society welcomes anyone who has an interest in nature, wildlife, and/or photography – whether you are a total novice or earn a living by taking pictures. The club meets every month, generally on the second Saturday afternoon. Club activities include special presentations, slide shows of members’ work, intra-club mentoring and training, photo shoots, online photo sharing, and involvement in the refuge’s various photography-related programs, events, and outreach activities. Venue capacity is limited to 75 attendees. Admission to this program is free and registration is not required.

“Undercover with the Piping Plover” – Managing a Threatened Species

Wednesday, May 14, 9 a.m. and Friday, May 23, at 9 a.m.

The federally – threatened Atlantic coast piping plover nests and raises its young on Plum Island’s beaches from April through August. Join a refuge ranger for a chance to glimpse this native species in its wild habitat and to hear the story of how biologists work to conserve the plover under the Endangered Species Act. As conditions permit, participants will have an opportunity to view the plovers on the beach, from a safe distance, using a refuge-provided spotting scope. Participants are encouraged to bring a pair of binoculars, a spotting scope, and/or a camera. Meet the ranger on the deck of the visitor contact station at the refuge’s Lot 1. Program is appropriate for adults and older children. Each session is limited to 10 participants. Registration is required.

Special Evening Presentation: Preparing for Sea Level Rise

Wednesday, May 21, at 7 p.m.

Kirk Bosma will present “Preparing for Sea Level Rise.” Bosma is a senior coastal engineer and team leader of the Coastal Sciences, Engineering and Planning Team at Woods Hole Group. He focuses on habitat restoration, shoreline protection and climate change planning. The presentation will take place in the refuge’s visitor center auditorium. Venue capacity is limited to 75 attendees. Admission to this program is free and registration is not required.