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  • Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:36 AM | John Petraglia (Administrator)

    Are you the parent of a 3-4 year old who is interested in giving them the opportunity to learn more about the environment and natural resources? Well we’re here to help!  The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge will be hosting a monthly preschool program, Young Explorers Club, starting in August.


    The programs are scheduled to be one hour long and will be held on the first Tuesday of every month beginning on August 4, 2015 at 10 a.m. The location will be at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (694 Beech Hill Lane Hardeeville, SC 29927).


    Each month, a different animal or method of conservation will be highlighted. Juniors of Girl Scout Troop 30387 have designed the following monthly programs as their service project for completing the Bronze Award.


    Read More: Program Info       Flyer

  • Monday, March 30, 2015 9:58 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Our first online auction is now underway at www.biddingowl/FSCWR.  I want to send out a big Friends group thanks to our sponsors:

    • The Carretta Research Project
    • May River Golf Club at Palmetto Dunes
    • Captain JB Riffle of the shrimp boat Agnes Marie
    • Captain Mike's Dolphin Tours
    • Peggy Noon of Pegasus Riding Academy
    • Linda Etchells and Swampgirls Paddle Club
    • Dot Bambach
    • Connie and Dale Terrell
    • The Piano Studio
    • Chef Hugh Acheson and The Florence Restaurant
    • Wilderness Southeast
    • The Ancient Olive
    • Portman's Music Academy
    Without the generosity of our sponsors, the auction would not have been possible.

  • Thursday, March 26, 2015 3:45 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    The Friends are sponsoring our first online/silent auction to support the Kingfisher Pond Project.  Bids on our nature-oriented unique items will be accepted beginning at 8 AM on March 27th and ending at midnight on Friday April 10th,  In person bidding will be available at the meeting from 10AM until Noon on the 11th.

    See the items and place your bids on our Bidding Owl auction site.

  • Monday, November 10, 2014 8:16 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    The long-awaited launch of the Kingfisher Pond Discovery Center Project is at hand.  Details of the proposed project will be posted on this site today, and will be e-mailed to everyone on our contact list.

    The Project Advisory Committee has been meeting for weeks to prepare for the launch.  Under the leadership of Dr Todd Cellini (President of the Savannah campus of South University and chairman of the committee) we have involved Cassie Beckwith from Hansen Architects, Dean Peterson from the IKEA Savannah Distribution Center (which has already donated $12,500 to the project), Gareth Avant from McKim & Creed engineering, as well as Friends members and FWS representatives.  Other members will be coming on board soon representing local media and industries.

    The first phase of the project launch is aimed at informing our members and contacts about the project and soliciting contributions toward the estimated budget of $350,000.  After January 1, 2015, we will begin approaching local corporations and foundations in search of their financial support.

    Watch this site for more details as the project launch continues.

  • Monday, November 10, 2014 8:08 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    A big Friends group thanks to Linda Etchells and Swampgirls for raising over $1100 during their annual Refuge Week Paddle on October 3rd on the Savannah River.  Great fun and a great fund-raiser!

    Photo by Linda Lee

  • Sunday, November 02, 2014 10:21 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Thanks to the tireless work of Friends members Jim McMahon and Mark Yeager, we have updated our section on the Harris Neck land dispute with new information and historical documents.  Be sure to check it out HERE.

  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 5:32 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    The US Fish & Wildlife Service staff plan to conduct several control burns during the coming fall and winter months on the Savannah NWR.  The goal of control burning is to enhance wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of wildfires on the Refuge.


    The 2015 Annual Prescribed Fire Plan includes 3,157 acres targeted for burning during the next six months.  Most of the units involve burning wetland impoundments to open up and provide quality habitat prior to the arrival of wintering waterfowl.  Burns are timed so they minimize impacts on wildlife and people.  Units are burned in small blocks to reduce smoke impacts.

    The burn plan addresses a wide range of factors such as safety, weather, fuel conditions, smoke impacts, and also resources needed to conduct the burns. These burn treatments restore the grassland areas, control brush in pine forests, control invasive woody vegetation, and increase the diversity of native plants and wildlife. Other benefits include protection of communities and watersheds by reducing fuels and thus the potential threats of a wildfire.


    Control burns are planned and carried out by trained firefighters operating under strict weather parameters, as set forth in the prescriptions (burn plan).  These plans spell out the number of qualified firefighters, and types and number of equipment that must be present to burn.  The weather conditions, including wind speed and direction, humidity, fuel moisture, and other factors described in the plan must be within a prescribed range.  If the weather conditions don’t match the prescription, the fire is not started.  Smoke from the fires is a concern, and plans call for specific winds to minimize public impact on roads and communities.


    Plans include burning around the refuge Visitor Center this year.  Fire breaks have been constructed to keep the fire in small manageable blocks to minimize any problems with smoke along highway 17 and around neighboring residences.

    Control burns have been conducted for many years at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, and are considered an important tool for managing wildlife habitat and reducing the risk of serious wildfires.  Due to difficulties in predicting weather, the refuge is not able to notify the public of the exact day the burn will be conducted.  Landowners adjacent to the burn areas and local fire departments are notified prior to igniting the fire.  Questions about the control burns can be answered by calling the Refuge office at (843) 784-2468.


  • Tuesday, September 23, 2014 4:51 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Don't miss the activities planned around Refuge Week 2014!  See the Upcoming Event section for details.

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:17 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
         The Friends Group wants you!  From now until August 15th we are mounting our Summer Membership Drive.  Anyone joining during the drive will receive two years of membership for the price of one year!  Or, buy a membership for yourself, and gift a Family membership for one year to the person or family of your choice! 

         You can join online , or send your check to the address listed below.  Check out this recent email for details.

  • Friday, June 27, 2014 9:43 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    At a ceremony on a beautiful summer day at Harris Neck NWR yesterday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the wood stork (Mycteria americana) has been down-listed from Endangered to Threatened status under the Endangered Species Act.  This action reflects the marked increase in nesting pairs and colonies observed over the past 30 years.  Harris Neck NWR supports the largest colony in Georgia.

    This is a real success story for the efforts to save this magnificent bird from what was once thought to be almost certain extinction.

    For more info, check out today's Savannah Morning News article.

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