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  • Tuesday, August 28, 2012 8:17 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
         Sharon Lindsay, Friends group member and Director and avid photographer, has just published her first book.  Entitled "The Wood Storks of Harris Neck NWR" , it follows in photos the development of a wood stork chick from egg to fledgling.  Sharon has been actively involved in the wood stork project at Harris Neck for some time.


         The book is on sale in The Gator Hole, the Friends group book and nature store at Savannah NWR as well as at Wild Birds Unlimited and other locations.  Sharon is donating all the net proceeds from the book to the Friends group, so get out there and buy your copy!
  • Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:38 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
         FWS has completed another visitor services upgrade with the installation early in August of a spotting scope on the new pier at Kingfisher Pond, part of Savannah NWR.  Kingfisher is located on south-bound US-17 just north of the SC-170 turnoff.   HERE is a map.

         It is an old borrow pit which had fallen into disrepair. With the installation of the pier, a new electric gate, new interpretive signs, and the completion last year of new trails around the pond, this area is becoming a much more accessible portion of the refuge.

         New spotting scope     L-R: Alex madsen, Jonathan Malriat, Jan Tripp (staff), Matthew Madsen
       Future plans include dredging the pond and stocking it to provide more fishing resources for visitors.
  • Tuesday, August 28, 2012 4:48 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
        We have been working with the FWS to have a display installed in the three-story tower of the Savannah NWR Visitor Center lobby.  After over a year of planning with multiple ideas it has now been completed. Arnie Weisbrot, one of our RV volunteers started working on the  project last fall with ideas from FWS visitor services staff.
        The initial idea called for painting a mural on the entire inside surface of the tower.  This idea proved cost-prohibitive.  Then
    Robin Puckett, a muralist from North Carolina, came through with a more affordable idea which involved painting canvases on the ground, then mounting them over the large sound baffles in the tower.
        Robin with one of her canvases mounted on the frame     FWS staff begin to raise one of the four panels into position     It's a long way down!
      Kim Russell, the artist from Wisconsin who designs the Orni-ments that we sell at the VC, created 13 life-sized bird sculptures to hang from the tower.   With Friends Group support and recreation fee grant dollars it all came together over the past few weeks with both artists taking on this project as a personal challenge.

        Lying on the lobby floor looking up.  
    Kim holding her favorite, the wood stork The artists, Robin and Kim  

       Robin created four 8'x16.5' murals portraying local habitats that relate to the birds being created by Kim.  They worked together via phone and email to mesh their designs, then delivered their work to the Refuge and helped staff with the installation. Kim (ably assisted by her husband Rob who journeyed to Savannah with her) and Robin each spent days here in Savannah after putting in many hours in their home studios on preliminary work.

       I encourage every Friends member to visit, as the photos do not do the installation justice.  Many thanks to the artists and to the FWS staff who put in many hours making this project happen.

    (Photos by Monica Harris)

  • Friday, July 20, 2012 11:36 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    Plans are coming together for an exciting Refuge Week this year.  On Saturday, October 13th, Friends group members are invited to our annual field trip.  This year we are joining forces with the Skidaway Institute for a boat ride to Wassaw Island NWR where a variety of activities are planned including a presentation by our favorite Teddy Roosevelt repriser, Joe Wigand.  Joe was such a hit last year he has been invited back to help us once again celebrate Refuge Week.  The field trip is available only to Friends Group members and their guests and registration is required.  More details later.

    On Sunday, October 14th, we have once again partnered with Savannah Riverboat Cruises for a sightseeing cruise up the Savannah River into the Savannah NWR.  TR will accompany us on the cruise and regale us with stories from the life of the founder of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  We had a great time last year despite the rain and encourage all who missed the cruise last near not to make that mistake again!
    Friends group members will receive discounts on up to four tickets per Family membership.  The discounted tickets will be distributed by the Friends group.  Regular-price tickets are available from Savannah Riverboat Cruises.  Lunch is available for an additional fee, or bring your own.
  • Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:01 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    Your webmaster owes an apology to all our loyal visitors as I have not been keeping the site up to date as originally planned.  Two grandchildren born within 6 weeks of each other, while at the same time selling our home and moving into a new one has been involving and exhausting.  Hopefully, things are settling down and you will see more new and updated content.
  • Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11:59 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    Check out the latest development in the seemingly never-ending Harris Neck land dispute.  Just click on the menu item on the left "Friends Resources", then "Harris Neck land Issue".
  • Tuesday, April 10, 2012 3:04 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    March 2012 was a great month for sales at The Gator Hole.  Merchandise sales came to $5250 with an additional $85 in donations.  We had to restock many shirts and books, and are now almost back to our usual stocking levels of most items.  We have sold all but 2 of the special-order Earth Day shirts, with still 11 days to go before Earth Day.  Unfortunately we can't get any more in time.
    Next time you are on the Wildlife Drive, be sure to stop by The Gator Hole and check out our inventory.
  • Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:59 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    A 10-11 foot long American alligator spend last Friday and Saturday sunning himself around the Savannah NWR Visitor Center.  I missed him on Saturday and went looking for him today, but he was nowhere to be seen.

    Keep an eye out for him, but do NOT attempt to approach, feed, or harass him in any way.  Alligators are protected by state and Federal law, and feeding an alligator almost inevitably ends in the creature becoming habituated and aggressive towards humans.  This occasionally ends badly for a person, but almost always ends with the alligator being destroyed as a nuisance animal.

    If anyone got a photo of him, please send it to me to share.
  • Tuesday, April 03, 2012 10:06 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    How would you like to be a reporter for the Friends group web site?

    It would help keep the site up to date and interesting if you would send in reports of the activities you are involved in that are refuge related.  This could be a planned activity, a recent outing, a talk or tour that you led or participated in, or a school or community group presentation that you gave.  Any story that is refuge-related will be considered.  Your story might also be selected for our email newsletter.

    You will get the by-line for the story, and our gratitude.  Feel free to send photos if you wish.  I reserve the final say on editing stories and photos.

    Please send your contributions to webmaster@coastalrefuges.org.

  • Friday, March 30, 2012 11:06 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    On Tuesday, April 3, we will be returning to Tomkins Island at the mouth of the Savannah River to clear away vegetation.  The island has become a very productive tern rookery, but needs to be cleared every year or two to maintain space for these ground-nesting birds.

    It is a vigorous work-out, similar to weeding your yard or garden, but quite rewarding.  If you are interested, email me at webmaster@coastalrefuges.com and I will get you in touch with Lindsay Coldiron, the biologist organizing the expedition.

Please consider donating to the Friends! 

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PO Box 16841
Savannah, GA, 31416

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