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.
Below are upcoming events in August. Visit 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.
Nature Photography Contest - The Friends of Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Inc. is now accepting entries for the 10th Annual Nature Photography Contest, which showcases some of the best and most talented nature photography on Delmarva. The contest is open to all photographers, with separate categories for students. There are several categories with many chances for photographers of all ages and abilities to win awards. Categories include the Beauty of Prime Hook, Native Flowers & Plants, Native Birds, Other Native Wildlife and Delmarva Scenery.
Photographs will be on display from Oct. 19 to Dec. 15, and the exhibition is kicked off with an opening reception for the artists and the general public on Oct. 19. Viewers decide the People’s Choice Award, which will be presented at the conclusion of the exhibition. For a full and complete listing of the contest rules, go to friendsofprimehook.com or www.fws.gov/northeast/primehook or visit the refuge office.
Thursday, Aug. 8 - An Evening at the Hook lecture series will offer a special screening of "Green Fire" 7 to 8:15 p.m. The film highlights the career of legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold and his shaping of the environmental movement. The lecture is free, open to the public and fun for the entire family. Preregistration is required by calling the refuge office. Light refreshments will be offered at 6:30 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 12 - P.R.I.M.E. Time, Preschooler Reading Initiative to Magnify the Environment, will run from 10 to 11 a.m. at the refuge office. 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 Fireflies. Participation is free but preregistration is required by calling the refuge office.
Tuesday, Aug. 13 - Refuge Summer Readers Program is offered from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the refuge office. Youth ages 8 to 12 read the books on their own, then meet for a discussion and activity related to the story once a month. August’s book is "John Muir: My Life with Nature" by Joseph Cornell. Space is limited, and preregistration is required. Books are available for purchase in the Friends Store at Prime Hook or on loan.
Monday, Aug. 19 - S.N.A.P. it!, Shutterbugs for Nature and Photography, is offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the refuge office. The refuge provides the cameras, families provide the creativity. The program features a tutorial session and time to snap photos outdoors. Participants will go home with a printed photo. Photographs will also be put on display in the refuge’s Visitor Center and on the refuge’s website. Cameras are limited; call to preregister. The program is free.
Tuesday, Aug. 20 - Pondside Adventures are scheduled for 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Participants will discover what types of fish and aquatic insects live in the area during this hands-on exploration of refuge waters. Footwear is required; sunscreen and hats recommended for this wet and wild activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the refuge office.
Thursday, Aug. 22 - Birding Field Trip starts at 8 a.m. 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.
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 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.
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, go to www.fws.gov.