We are truly blessed to have five beautiful wildlife refuges here in Rhode Island
that provide homes, nesting and resting spaces for a whole host of wildlife as
well as over 60 species of birds some of which just stop by and others who
stick around. This year we were especially gratified to see that a number
of Snowy Owls visited for quite some time at both Trustom Pond and Sachuest
The unexpected visit from our owl friends from the north resulted in huge numbers of visitors at the refuges to watch and film them and on some days over
1000 people visited Sachuest Point NWR visitors center. They visited the new exhibit hall and also our store which was quite gratifying to us since last year the visitors center and store
was closed for renovation and also due to the damage to the access road caused by superstorm Sandy. Duringthe last fiscal year the Friends continued to support the refuges by provided funds for a
biology intern, the Providence Park Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership Initiative, Trustom Pond water quality analysis, money to repair the bat survey microphones as well as support for visitor
programs at Kettle
Pond and Sachuest Point. We also provided money to support the education
and special events programs and for special speaker honorariums.
In this fiscal year we will be providing money for a biology intern to work on
Trustom Pond water quality and the bat survey, continue support for the Providence Parks Urban Refuge Partnership Initiative, the volunteer program, water quality analysis, complex wide special events, the junior duck stamp program, mail and advertising as well as support for the visitors programs at the various refuges.
A little background on the Providence Parks Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. This is where the U S Fish & Wildlife Service, the community and conservation partners come together to promote conservation. Providence boasts of a 110-year-old park system that offers serene, forested green spaces, walking trails, ponds, and rivers that are perfect for hiking, sailing, canoeing, and even watching anadromous fish. Many parks are within a half-mile of a school, accessible to the city's youth via public transportation, and make great outdoor classrooms. Using this park system as a portal to reach urban communities, the RI National Wildlife Refuges and the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service Coastal Program, together with the Partnership for Providence Parks and Providence Parks and Recreation Department, formed the nationally designated Providence Parks Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. This exciting urban initiative bridges community parks with the Service, State agencies, and conservation organizations, leverages funding and technical support for wildlife habitat enhancements, nature trails, interpretive signs and the hiring of a Conservation Program Coordinator who facilitates training for the community parks on wildlife interpretation, habitat restoration and education programs and serves as a liaison connecting schools and partners to bring a collective conservation message to urban families where they live and work. At the heart of this partnership is the nationally recognized Roger Williams Park Zoo which is working with the Service on a variety of conservation programs, particularly the captive breeding and release of federally listed species. Creating a growing urban presence and connecting urban youth with nature is an important initiative with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and well as its conservation partners.
As you can see, our plans are ambitious and we thank all of our members and
supporters for their generous support. We are also pleased that store sales are up. This year our annual wine and microbrew tasting fundraiser will be at the Westerly Yacht Club on June 27th, and we hope to hold another fundraiser in Newport sometime in the fall. We hope that you will come out and support our efforts by attending our fundraisers and/or making a donation by sending a check to the Friends of NWR – RI at 50 Bend Road, Charlestown, RI 02813. Information about the June 27th wine and microbrew tasting is on this website.
Many thanks to all of our supporters and volunteers – we could not do what we do without you!