, Newburyport, MA

August 31, 2013

Programs at Parker River Wildlife Refuge

Newburyport Daily News

---- — 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.

The refuge visitor center is at 6 Plum Island Turnpike.

“Behind the Scenes” Refuge Tour

Saturdays, Sept. 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 9:30 a.m.; Sundays, Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29 at 1 p.m. Tours last approximately 2 hours.

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. Binoculars and/or a camera are recommended, but not required. Meet the ranger in the lobby of the Headquarters visitor center. Each session is limited to 10 participants; no more than 4 individuals per sign-up. Registration required.

Exploring the Refuge by Kayak

Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. (rain date: Sunday, Sept. 22 at 11:45 a.m.); Wednesday, Sept. 25th at 2 p.m.

There is no better way to see and experience the refuge’s salt marsh than from the cockpit of your own kayak. Join refuge rangers for a three-hour meander through the marsh and learn about some of its fascinating natural and cultural history. Program participants should have kayaking experience and need to provide their own kayak, paddle, and personal flotation device (PFD). Participant boats must be a minimum of 12 feet in length and have onboard flotation. It is recommended that participants provide their own insect repellent, sunscreen, water, snack food, and wear clothing appropriate for the weather. PFDs must be worn by all program participants. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Meet the rangers at the refuge’s boat ramp, opposite Lot 1, 15 minutes prior to the program start time. Enrollment limited to 12 participants. Registration required.

Nature Kids!

Tuesdays, Sept. 10 and Sept. 24, 11 a.m. to noon

A new fun class geared towards 4-to 6-year-olds. Classes about nature and common backyard animals and plants are featured in this bi-monthly program. Each class is different and children do not need to attend previous classes in order to participate. The Sept. 10 class will focus on animals and their hearing adaptations; the Sept. 24 session will focus on their sight adaptations.

Each class is limited to 15 children. A parent or guardian must be present throughout the one-hour session. Meet at the refuge visitor center and headquarters. Activities will be held in the classroom. Registration required.

Digital Photography 101 for Newbies!

Saturday, Sept. 14, 9:30 to 11 a.m.

This free presentation is for the person who owns a digital camera (of any variety), but either doesn’t know how to use it, or has been frustrated with their results. The presentation will provide a broad overview of the entire “digital workflow” – from taking the picture to editing images on a computer. Practical tips for achieving compelling images of nature and wildlife will be shared during the session. The presentation will occur in the refuge’s visitor center auditorium. Registration is not required.

Photographic Society of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, Sept. 14 at 1:30 p.m., visitor center auditorium

The nature and wildlife photography club will welcome featured speaker Michael Milicia, a nature and wildlife photographer. The agenda for the meeting also includes the monthly Show and Share slide show comprised of members’ images, set to music, and an update about the photo contest and upcoming Phabulous Photo Weekend.

The Photographic Society welcomes all photographers from beginners to professionals. The club meets every month, generally on the second Saturday afternoon. Registration is not required to attend the meetings.