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Upcoming Events

Refuge

If you would like a copy of the events for 2017 click here.

January

Birding Tour
January 8th
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard NWR Volunteers. Experienced birders will lead the tour. Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor Center for check-out.

Program begins at 8:15 am at the Refuge Visitor Center
Reservations are required.

Bald Eagle Tours
January 21st, 22nd, 28th & 29th
Guided tours visit eagle nests and areas of the Refuge where eagles may be spotted.
The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for youth under the age of 12.
Saturdays at 8am, 11am and 2pm, and Sundays at 11 am and 2 pm.
Sunday tours at 9am are available for interested scout groups.
Meet at the Crab Orchard NWR Visitor Center.
Reservations are required.
Reservations beginning December 19th.

February

Birding Tour
February 12th
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard NWR Volunteers. Experienced birders will lead the tour. Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor Center for check-out.

Program begins at 8:15 am at the Refuge Visitor Center
Reservations are required.

Fee Free Day
Monday February 20th

March

Volunteer Recruitment Day
Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
March 4th
Want to help out your local wildlife refuge? Come to the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Ref-uge Volunteer Recruitment Day! Volunteerism is a large part of the Wildlife Refuge system and could include you
!
Event is at the Visitor’s Center from 10 am - 3 pm

Bicycling in the Restricted Area Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
March 11th Everyone knows that bicycling is great exercise, a great way to spend time outdoors, and a great way to spend time as a family. But did you also know it can be a great way to explore parts of the refuge usually gone unseen? Bring the whole family and join us for a bike trip through some of the restricted parts of the refuge! Take in the sites and see how much wildlife you can spot along the way.
Program begins at 9:30 am
Reservations are required.

Birding Tour
March 12th
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard NWR Volunteers. Experienced birders will lead the tour. Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor Center for check-out.

Program begins at 8:15 am at the Refuge Visitor Center
Reservations are required.

Refuge Ponds Open
March 15th
Our ponds are open again! Time to do some fishing!

Youth Turkey Hunt Workshop
March 18th
Sign up early for a day of fun and learning at the Youth Turkey Workshop. Learn all you need to know about turkey hunting, safety and stay for some snacks and prizes!

Keep an eye on our website, Facebook Page or call to the Visitor

April

Fishing Course Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program April 1th Nothing brings families together quite like fishing. This program focuses on teaching the basics of fishing, all equipment provided to the younger (or less experienced) members of your family. Bring the whole crew, practice the basics, then end the day with a group bank fishing trip!
Visitors will meet at the Refuge Visitor Center Program runs from 10am - 12 am

Wildflower Walks
Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
April 8th
Join a knowledgeable guide at the Rocky Bluff trailhead for a hike and an in-depth program about spring wildflowers.

Meet at the Rocky Bluff Hiking Trail, Tacoma Lake Road
First program begins at 10 am
Second program begins at 1 pm
Reservations are recommended.

Birding Tour
April 9th
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard NWR Volunteers. Experienced birders will lead the tour. Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor Center for check-out.

Program begins at 8:15 am at the Refuge Visitor Center
Reservations are required.

Family Archery Course Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
April 29th
Do you want to have a Family Archery Course? This is your opportunity! If you want to build your archery skills with all members of the family. Come an join us in a basic

introduction of archery. All equipment will be provided for all the members of your family.
Program begins at 10 am

May

International Migratory Bird Day Festival!
Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
May 13th Join the international movement and come celebrate migratory birds at Crab Orchard! Our celebration will include a basics in birdwatching course, followed by a guided hike where we will practice everything learned in the presentation. Through the guided hike you will have photo opportunities.
Program starts at 9:30 am

Birding Tour
May 14th
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard NWR Volunteers. Experienced birders will lead the tour. Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor Center for check-out.
Program begins at 8:15 am at the Refuge Visitor Center
Reservations are required.

Outdoor Cooking Course
Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
May 20th
Join us for a fun and delicious course! Learn from an expert how to whip up delicious meals over a hot fire and in a Dutch-oven. Bring the whole family down, learn a few recipes, and end with a well earned lunch! Program begins at 10:00 am
This program will be at Martha's Theater

Kayaking The Refuge Course Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
May 27th Come kayak Crab Orchard NWR’s lakes with us! Get an interpretive tour of the land around you, view wildlife as you pass by, and enjoy the breeze as you kayak out with our rangers. Boats are limited so if you are not bringing your own be sure to reserve your space! Ages 15 and up only. First program begins at 9 am
Second program begins at 1 pm
Reservations are required.

June

Kids Fishing Derby
June 10th
The Kids Fishing Derby is a free event hosted by the Refuge and our many local sponsors, it is a wonderful opportunity for families to spend a day together on the Refuge fishing. The Derby is for kids 12 and younger.

Free lunch will be provided for participants and their families.
Registration begins at 8 am.
Event runs from 8am - 12 pm, Prairie Creek Recreation Area

Kayaking The Refuge Course Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
June 17th Come kayak Crab Orchard NWR’s lakes with us! Get an interpretive tour of the land around you, view wildlife as you pass by, and enjoy the breeze as you kayak out with our rangers. Boats are limited so if you are not bringing your own be sure to reserve your space! Ages 15 and up only. First program begins at 9 am
Second program begins at 1 pm
Reservations are required.

Pollinators!
Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
June 24th
We will have several activities free to the public to spread awareness about the importance of pollinators! Join us in celebrating bats, birds, bugs, bees, and more! Keep an eye on our website for postings about the activities to come.

Program begins at 10 am

July

Kayaking The Refuge Course Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
July 1th Come kayak Crab Orchard NWR’s lakes with us! Get an interpretive tour of the land around you, view wildlife as you pass by, and enjoy the breeze as you kayak out with our rangers. Boats are limited so if you are not bringing your own be sure to reserve your space! Ages 15 and up only. First program begins at 9 am
Second program begins at 1 pm
Reservations are required.

Family Archery Course Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
July 15th
Do you want to have a Family Archery Course? This is your opportunity! If you want to build your archery skills with all members of the family, come an join us in a basic

introduction of archery. All equipment will be provided for all the members of your family.
Program begins at 10 am

Geocaching the Refuge Course Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
July 29th A fan of geocaching? Have no idea what it is, but want to find out? Come join us in the biggest international treasure hunt. Wildlife Refuges are a little different when it comes to geocaching: the only people who can hide caches are the rangers. Bring the family to our first B.O.F Geocaching adventure and see if you can find what our rangers have hidden. Side effects may include fun, exposure to nature, family bonding, and learning new skills such as orienteering and how to use a handheld GPS.
Program begins at 10 am


August

Nature Photography Course Becoming an Outdoors Family Program August 5th Learn the basics of nature photography with the whole family. Learn from our certified in-structors and then practice your new skills on a group hike!
Program begins at 11 am

Kayaking The Refuge Course Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
August 19th Come kayak Crab Orchard NWR’s lakes with us! Get an interpretive tour of the land around you, view wildlife as you pass by, and enjoy the breeze as you kayak out with our rangers. Boats are limited so if you are not bringing your own be sure to reserve your space! Ages 15 and up only.
First program begins at 9 am

Second program begins at 1 pm
Reservations are required.

September

Kayaking The Refuge Course Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
September 2nd Come kayak Crab Orchard NWR’s lakes with us! Get an interpretive tour of the land around you, view wildlife as you pass by, and enjoy the breeze as you kayak out with our rangers. Boats are limited so if you are not bringing your own be sure to reserve your space! Ages 15 and up only.
First program begins at 9 am

Second program begins at 1 pm
Reservations are required.

Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
Butterfly Round-up
September 9th
Monarch butterflies travel through our area each year on their way to spend the cold months of winter in Mexico. Visitors are invited to help catch and tag these butterflies as they feed and rest at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.
Reservations are recommended. Program Runs from 10am - 12pm

Birding Tour
September 10th
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard NWR Volunteers. Experienced birders will lead the tour. Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor Center for check-out.

Program begins at 8:15 am at the Refuge Visitor Center
Reservations are required.

Hunting & Fishing Days September 23rd & 24th Come join us out at John A. Logan College for the 28th annual Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days. Attend a casting workshop, watch the dock dogs compete, listen to the waterfowl callers and try archery, check out all the latest gear and much more.
September 24th 8am-5pm & September 25th 9am-4pm

Refuge Clean-up
September 30th
The Friends of Crab Orchard Refuge will be hosting the annual Crab Orchard Clean Up at the Prairie Creek Recreation Area. Spend the day outdoors and help keep Crab Orchard beautiful. Event runs from 8am - 1pm

Refuge Ponds Close
September 30th
Our ponds are closed. Ponds will be open again for fishing next year March 15!

October

Birding Tour
October 8th
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard NWR Volunteers. Experienced birders will lead the tour. Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor Center for check-out.

Program begins at 8:15 am at the Refuge Visitor Center
Reservations are required.

Outdoor Spanish Immersion Class Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program October 14th ¿ Habla español? Trying to learn Spanish? Do you have a child in Spanish class that needs some practice? One of the best ways to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it. Our Spanish Immersion class lets you try your hand out at speaking Spanish on a beautiful hike with two of our bi-lingual rangers! The program includes a brief introduction at the visitors center followed by a short hike.
Program begins at 10 am

Bicycling in the Restricted Area Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
October 21st Everyone knows that bicycling is great exercise, a great way to spend time outdoors, and a great way to spend time as a family. But did you also know it can be a great way to explore parts of the refuge usually gone unseen? Bring the whole family and join us for a bike trip through some of the restricted parts of the refuge! Take in the sites and see how much wildlife you can spot along the way.
Program begins at 9:30 am
Reservations are required.

Discovery Tours October 22nd & 29th
We will open up the restricted portion of the refuge for a self-guided tour. Tours begin at the Wolf Creek Causeway, volunteers will be stationed throughout the tour to answer questions.
Gates open from 1—4 pm

Halloween Bat Program Becoming an Outdoors-Family Program
October 28th Come to Crab Orchard NWR for some Halloween Fun! Learn about the importance of bats and build bat boxes with us to encourage these important pollinators.
Program begins at 1:00 pm Reservations are required.

November

Birding Tour
October 12th
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard NWR Volunteers. Experienced birders will lead the tour. Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor Center for check-out.

Program begins at 8:15 am at the Refuge Visitor Center
Reservations are required.

December

Birding Tour
October 10th
Come and join us for a birding tour guided by Crab Orchard NWR Volunteers. Experienced birders will led the tour. Binoculars are available at the Refuge Visitor Center for check-out.

Program begins at 8:15 am at the Refuge Visitor Center
Reservations are required.

Youth Waterfowl Workshop and Hunt
December 15th & 16th Sign up early for a day of fun and learning at the Youth Waterfowl Workshop. Learn all you need to know about waterfowl hunting, safety and stay for the pizza and prizes! The following day will be the hunt; hunters age 15 or younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots, and mergansers as long as they are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The accompanying adult cannot hunt during the weekend.
Keep an eye on our website, Facebook Page or call to the Visitor Center for more

information about this event.

 
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