Refuge Friends are independent, nonprofit organizations run by individuals that support the purposes and objectives of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Many groups are well established and provide extensive assistance to their refuges; others have just gotten started.
The first Refuge Friends organizations started in the 1980s. Today, roughly 200 organizations build links between communities and refuges. Refuge Friends support local refuges and the National Wildlife Refuge system by:
Advocating for funding, protection and improved programming of all refuges
Conducting public events that teach visitors and connect the community with conservation
Restoring habitat, maintaining trails, coordinating volunteers
Operating nature stores and raising funds
Refuge Friends form a network of organizations that are the core of the National Wildlife Refuge Association’s grassroots advocacy efforts. Whenever possible, we coordinate with local Refuge Friends and rely on their support to give the National Wildlife Refuge System a local voice in support our our national advocacy efforts on behalf of the National Wildlife Refuge System.