Byline: Monica Harris
Staff of the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex and the US F&WS Regional Office along with the Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges greeted 400 visitors to Savannah NWR as they participated in the Second Annual Natural Resource Discovery Day
, March 9, 2013.
This year’s event welcomed additional support from the Savannah Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), and University of Georgia’s (UGA) Mary Warnell Forest Education Center.
Other volunteers included students from Ogeechee Tech, Georgia Southern University, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
A local Boy Scout troop, Girls in Science Club, and a Junior Refuge Manger participant also volunteered for the event.
Visitors had the opportunity to learn about banding birds, while a few got the chance to actually release birds banded that morning. To get a better understanding of why we band, participants were encouraged to make banding bracelets for themselves. Other activities focused on forest management, water management, law enforcement and illegal trade, the junior duck stamp program, and archeology.
Many visitors were particularly interested in and excited about the archery course, NWTF BB gun range, making turkey calls, the animal Olympics course and the many live reptiles on exhibit (thanks to Friends group Board member Dave Chafin and his Reptiles Alive). To encourage them to take in all of the activities throughout the day, the NWTF donated six, $40 gift cards from Bass Pro Shop that were given away as door prizes every hour.
This event attracted one of the largest crowds in recent memory to the Savannah NWR Visitor Center. Thanks to all the volunteers and participating groups who made the day so successful.