We are truly blessed to have five beautiful wildlife refuges here in Rhode Island that provide homes and habitats for a whole host of wildlife, including over 300 species of birds - some of which just stop to rest and others who stick around.
I am very happy to announce that the Kettle Pond Visitor Center re-opened to the public on February 7th. Hours at first will be Monday, Tuesday and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The Sachuest Point Visitor Center in Middletown will continue to be open Friday through Monday from 10:00AM to 2:00 PM. Hopefully, as more volunteers are available, the visitor centers will be able to be open for more days and/or longer hours.
With the visitor centers now opened, so are our nature stores. All of the profits from our sales go toward furthering the work of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Rhode Island RefugeComplex. Hopefully, you will come and shop so that we can carry on with this support.
Despite the visitor centers being closed for much of last year, the Friends continued supporting the Rhode Island Refuge Complex by using some of our reserves and donations and thus provided funds for the Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership Initiative. With the visitor centers reopening and store sales picking up, as well as the continued support of our membership, the Friends this year expect to support several initiatives for the Complex including a spotted turtle survey, the Urban Refuge Initiative, and Complex -wide special events, as well as partner-led outreach and volunteer programs.
In addition, the Friends are proud to continue to support and run the Junior Duck Stamp program which brings numerous entries from students at schools around the State.
This summer we also will be holding our annual amateur photography contest and,
assuming restrictions on the size of gatherings are eased, our popular summer lecture series at Kettle Pond - Wildlife Wednesdays.
As you can see, our plans are ambitious and we thank all of our members and supporters for their generous financial and volunteering support – we could not do what we do without you!