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Friends of St. Marks
Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 368
St. Marks, FL 32355

Phone: (850) 925-6121

Email for more information


Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge

The St. Marks Refuge Association (which was formed in 1987) supports the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in all aspects of its mission. In 2014, the association registered to 'do business as' Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. The Friends' group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

The Refuge comprises over 70,000 acres of wildlife habitat along 45 miles of Florida gulf coastline. To get to the Refuge, turn south on Lighthouse Road off of U.S. Hwy 98. If you are visiting the capitol city, the Refuge is approximately 35 miles south of Tallahassee.

Visit this site often to learn about announcements, upcoming events, news, membership, educational efforts, volunteering, support and more. (Note: if you have come to the "Friends" site when you intended to visit the "Refuge" web site, you can go there now.)

 
     
Announcements
blue winged teal

Birds to Look For at the Refuge - September 29 Survey
Don Morrow, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge volunteer and expert birder, conducted a recent survey. In his notes, he said, "In a long seven-hour trip to St. marks NWR starting at 6:00 am, I logged 72 species including a good number of migrants. Shorebird numbers are climbing. I counted 1,158 shorebirds of 14 species. Almost a quarter of them were Western Sandpipers. Night birds included Great Horned and Barred Owl, Common Nighthawk, King Rail, Sora and Least Bittern. There were a grand total of three duck species; Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal and Shoveler ." Read Don's complete survey.

binoculars gift store photo

Nature Store
Visit the Friends' Nature Store, and you will see why the store is one of our great success stories. In addition to T-shirts, gift cards, jewelry, and burnished water bottles, we are now featuring two different Trailfinder binoculars (left). Choose from 8x24 or 8x25 power lenses. Visit the Nature Store, and see other great gift ideas. (All profits benefit various Refuge programs!)

Special Notes:

  • Construction is taking place at the lighthouse over the next several months. Until further notice, it will not be open on the usual "First Saturday" of each month.
  • Also, drones are not permitted to be launched on national wildlife refuges.  Please inform law enforcement if you see drones being used on your visit here. Thank you for your help.

Upcoming Events

OCTOBER

Sunday, October 8 –Birding Workshop.  Join Refuge volunteers Don Morrow and Karen Willes and Ranger Gail Fishman to learn the fundamentals of bird identification.  2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Education Building.  Reservations are required.  Please call (850) 925-6121 to reserve a space and for class instructions.

Thursday, October 12 – Tots on Trails.   11:00 a.m. - noon.  Meet Ranger Heather Bevis at Nature’s Classroom for a 45-minute walk and short hands-on outdoor activities for pre-school children and caregivers.  Bring a water bottle.  Limited to 10 children.  Call (850) 925-6121 for reservations.

Saturday, October 14 – Fall Wildlife Foray.  Join Dr. Loran Anderson for a behind the gates tour of the Panacea Unit.  9:30 a.m. to noon.  Meet at the Otter Lake Picnic Area.  Call (850) 925-6121 for reservations.

Sunday, October 15 – Refuge Pools closed to boats.

Monday, October 16 – Bird and Wildlife Observation.  Join Cyndi and Matt Johnstone for a behind-the gates e-tram tour.  9:00 a.m. to noon.  Limited to 10 people.  Call (850) 925-6121 to reserve a space. 

Saturday, October 21 – St. Marks Photo Club.  Meets in Nature’s Classroom at 9:00 a.m.  Open to all who are interested in nature photography.

Sunday, October 22  – Wildlife Photography E-Tram Tour. 1 p.m. Tour will be led by a photo club member.  Limited to 10 persons.   Reservations are required.  Call (850) 925-6121 to reserve a space.  

Sunday, October 22 – Fall Birding Tours.  9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  Join Naturalist Don Morrow for a behind the gates tour.  Meet in the Visitor Center parking lot.  Reservations are required.  Call (850) 925-6121 to reserve a spot.

Thursday, October 26 – Tots on Trails.   11:00 a.m. - noon.  Meet Ranger Heather Bevis at Nature’s Classroom for a walk and short hands-on outdoor activities for pre-school children and caregivers.    Bring a water bottle.  Limited to 10 children.  Call (850) 925-6121 for reservations.

Saturday, October 28 Monarch Festival! 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Tours, exhibits, tagging, food.

Sunday, October 29 – Ghost Town off-road bike tour to the old Port Leon town site with Carol Babcock.  Meet in the Visitor Center parking lot at 10:00 a.m.  Limited to 10.  Call (850)925-6121 for reservations.

 

 

 

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Copyright: St. Marks Refuge Association, 2013

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