2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and the 10th anniversary of several refuge events including the An Evening at the Hook Lecture Series, Nature Photography Contest sponsored by the Friends of Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Horseshoe Crab-Shorebird Festival through a partnership with the Milton Chamber of Commerce and Partnering to Promote Youth Fishing with the Lower Sussex Bassmasters.
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To celebrate these anniversaries and to connect people with nature, many activities, programs and special events are planned. The refuge is open every day one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset in designated areas. Also, the Visitor Center is open year round 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. On weekends, the Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. from December through March and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April through November.
Go to http://www.fws.gov/northeast/primehook or call the refuge office at 302-684-8419 to learn more about other events and programs throughout the year.
P.R.I.M.E. Time is scheduled for 10 to 11 a.m., Monday, July 8. P.R.I.M.E. time stands for Preschooler Reading Initiative to Magnify the Environment. Preschoolers and their parents are invited to listen to a nature-based story and participate in a related activity that will help them learn about the environment. This month’s topic is bats. Participation is free, but preregistration is required by calling the refuge. Meet at the refuge auditorium.
Thursday, July 11 - An Evening at the Hook Lecture Series - Recycling in Delaware is set for 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, July 11. Sarah Culler, supervisory public education and outreach coordinator at the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, will inform participants about recycling in Delaware and how citizens can help make a difference in protecting the environment. The lecture is free, open to the public and fun for the entire family. Seating is limited on a first-come, first-served basis in the refuge auditorium. All are invited at 6:30 p.m. for light refreshments.
S.N.A.P. it! is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday, July 15. S.N.A.P. it! stands for Shutterbugs for Nature And Photography. The whole family is invited to try a new nature skill...learning about nature photography. The refuge provides the cameras; participants provide the creativity. The program features a tutorial session and time to snap photos in the outdoors. Participants will go home with a printed photo, and photographs will also be put on display in the refuge’s Visitor Center and on its website. Cameras are limited; call to preregister. The program is free. Meet at the refuge office.
From 1 to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 16, the Refuge Summer Readers Program continues. Youth ages 8-12 read the book on their own, then gather for a discussion and activity related to the story. July’s book is "Earth Heroes: Champions of Wild Animals" by Carol and Bruce Malnor. August’s book is "John Muir: My Life with Nature" by Joseph Cornell. The program is free but space is limited. Preregistration is required. Books are available for purchase in the Friends' Store at Prime Hook or for loan at the refuge office. Participants should meet at the refuge office.
Also on Tuesday, July 16 is a Nature Photography Workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. A panel of three professional photographers will share tips on taking better photographs and provide participants with the criteria they use when judging photographs. Participants are encouraged to bring their photographs to be critiqued. Space is limited and preregistration is required; call the refuge office.
A birding field trip will take place starting at 8 a.m., Thursday, July 18. Led by volunteer birding guides, beginner and experienced bird watchers will enjoy observing and learning about the bird species frequenting the refuge at this time of year. Come prepared for the weather and expect to walk up to a mile. Bring binoculars, a field guide and spotting scope (the leader will have spotting scopes also). Binoculars will be available to borrow. Meet at the refuge office. Trips are free, open to the public and last approximately three hours.
Also on Thursday, July 18, Pondside Adventures takes place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. This event is a hands-on exploration of refuge waters. Footwear is required; sunscreen and hats are recommended for this wet and wild activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the refuge office.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information visit www.fws.gov.