Get your boots on the ground at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge!
Community volunteers and groups of all ages and skill levels are invited to join a Work/Play Day hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc.
Work/Play Days will be held on Saturdays, January 25, February 22, March 14, April 4 and May 2 from 9 a.m. to noon. These organized volunteer days are a great way to get outdoors and meet new friends. They are also an enriching opportunity for youth and young adults to gain community service credit.
Work/Play Day is divided into two parts, “Work” and “Play.” The “work” portion typically consists of activities such as general trails and garden maintenance or a habitat restoration project to benefit wildlife. The Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc. provide a light lunch. The “play” portion starts after lunch with an optional canoe outing on Bayou Lacombe when the event is hosted at the Lacombe headquarters. An adult must accompany minors. All equipment is provided and new volunteers are always welcome. In order to provide lunch and canoes, registration is required by the Wednesday preceding the event.
Activities take place at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex Headquarters, 61389 Hwy 434, Lacombe, LA 70445 or at Big Branch Marsh or Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuges.
More information or to register for Work/Play Day please contact Refuge Ranger Jo Anne Dolan at 985-882-2015 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT BIG BRANCH NWR & BAYOU GARDENS
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 on their work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southeast. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws, and download photos from their Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.
Established in 1994, Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is the 504th refuge under the National Wildlife Refuge System. It is comprised of over 18,000 acres of offshore grass beds, marshes, hardwood hammocks, and pine ridges. With a variety of habitat on the refuge, shorebirds, wading birds, neotropical songbird migrants and a host of year-round resident waterfowl can be found there. Deer, rabbit, mink, otter, raccoon, muskrat and nutria all make their home at the refuge, and the marshes provide critical spawning and nursery habitat for a number of fresh and saltwater species.
The area features an extensive camellia collection which dates back to the 1950s when the facility was operated as a horticulture attraction called Bayou Gardens. Today, through the help of volunteers, the grounds showcase some of the original garden areas that feature over 400 varieties of camellias.
Photo Caption: Work/Play day volunteers assist with grounds maintenance at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges complex headquarters in Lacombe, LA. (USFWS photo)