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“WOW”ing Citizens in the Connecticut River Watershed

The Urban Wildlife Refuges Program is all about reaching new audiences who might not know about the Refuge System, or a refuge that’s right in their backyard. One way the Urban Program is solving this problem is by bringing wildlife refuges to the community. The Watershed on Wheels (W.O.W.) Express program run by the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge is a perfect example of how this can be done.

Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge hosted a traveling refuge on wheels at the fishing derby held at the USFWS Northeast Regional Office in Hadley, MA. | Bill Butcher, USFWS
Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge hosted a traveling refuge on wheels at the fishing derby held at the USFWS Northeast Regional Office in Hadley, MA. | Bill Butcher, USFWS

The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge spans Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont within the Connecticut River Watershed and the W.O.W. environmental education program visits all four states. It is a three station, multi-sensory learning experience geared towards children in third, fourth, and fifth grade. It includes:

  • a mobile immersion trailer tour with five examples of different habitats and animals one might see if walking through the watershed at twilight;
  • the Conte Case which uses mammal pelts and skins to teach the participants the importance of animal adaptations;
  • and the River Table which shows how the Connecticut River has evolved, changed, and developed over time.

From March to October 2014, the W.O.W. program visited 33 schools, 20 overnight and day camps, and 23 fairs and festivals at a total of 73 locations during 107 days on the road. A big outreach push by the W.O.W. Coordinator and Conte staff within the Connecticut River Watershed resulting in a completely booked season in which the W.O.W. staff interacted with an impressive 15,000 people.

The staff is already gearing up for the 2015 season and has big plans to reach even more people to share the excitement and wonder of wildlife with people throughout the Connecticut River Watershed.

Click here to read the full story from Field Notes on the National Wildlife Refuge System homepage.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2014/12/wowing-citizens-in-the-connecticut-river-watershed/

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