Urban National Wildlife Refuges


Protecting the places Closest to Home for People and Wildlife

The National Wildlife Refuge Association’s Urban Refuge Program reaches beyond refuge boundaries and into communities throughout the United States to connect people to nature through dynamic outreach and by cultivating innovative cross-sector partnerships. 

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With 80 percent of Americans living in large metro regions and becoming increasingly disconnected from nature, building a connected conservation constituency is more important than ever. In order to better illustrate the importance of wildlife refuges, the Urban Program meets people where they are and fosters new ways of thinking about and engaging with nature. By providing expertise around communications, outreach, partnerships, advocacy, and other areas, the Urban Program increases the capacity of refuges, nonprofit partners, and Friends groups to plan and implement new programs and raise awareness of the National Wildlife Refuge System and conservation principles. 

From Bayou Sauvage in New Orleans to Esperanza Elementary School near downtown Los Angeles, the Urban Refuge Program brings people to nature, and nature to people, in ways big and small.