July Nature Tots Program
On Saturday, July 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., children ages 3-5 are invited to bring their favorite adult and join a refuge naturalist to read stories, explore outside, make nature crafts, and more! The program is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested. The topic for Saturday’s lesson will be “Busy Bees and Butterflies”. Nature Tots programs are educational programs that are especially designed for young learners. Lessons focus on engaging children’s senses using hands-on and interactive activities.
Evening Prairie Stroll
Take a stroll on Saturday, July 6, at 6:00 p.m., with a ranger along the two-mile Tallgrass Trail to enjoy an evening on the prairie. Look and listen for changes in the wildlife, while meandering through the prairie wildflowers as the sun goes down.
Wildflowers and Wildlife Walk and Talk
Join naturalists on Sunday, July 7, at 10:00 a.m. for a guided nature walk along the 1/2 mile paved Overlook Trail and learn about wildlife, wildflowers, and management of the refuge. See the prairie in bloom, watch for birds and butterflies and learn about the bison and elk herds. Recommended for adults and children ages 12 and older accompanied by their favorite adult. Pre-registration required.
To register or for more information for these programs, please call 515-994-3400 or email Doreen_vanryswyk@fws.gov.
Volunteer on Second Saturday Stewardship
Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge is hosting the monthly Second Saturday Stewardship activity on Saturday, July 13, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. If you have thought about volunteering at the Refuge, this is a great opportunity to do so. Weather permitting, the project for this Saturday will be planting outside. In case of rain, we will be transplanting indoors. If you would like to volunteer Saturday, or at any other time, please contact Nancy Corona at 515-994-3444 or Nancy_Corona@fws.gov.
Bison Talk and Wildflower Walk
Join a volunteer ranger at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, July 13, at 1:30 p.m. and participate in a short program on the natural history and management of the American Bison. Then take a guided walk to the butterfly garden located just outside the visitor center to enjoy and learn about prairie wildflowers. Please call to pre-register at 515/994-3400 or email Doreen_vanryswyk@fws.gov.
Summer Photo Hike
Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will host the summer Photo Hike on Sunday, July 14, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. This program is free and open to the public. Participants will meet at the Prairie Learning Center at 7:00 a.m. sharp before leaving for a specified area on the Refuge.
Amateur and professional photographers of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Bring your camera equipment, comfortable closed-toe shoes/boots, long pants, insect repellent, a water bottle and your
sense of wonder. Weather permitting, be prepared to go off the walking trails. In case of inclement weather, the Photo Hike will be cancelled. Please check Facebook for any cancellations.
Pre-registration is required. Please sign up in advance by contacting Doreen Van Ryswyk at 515-994-3400 or Doreen_vanryswyk@fws.gov.
Photo Contest Entry Deadline
Entries for the 2019 Neal Smith NWR photo contest are due by July 15. Entries must be postmarked by July 15 or dropped off at the Visitor Center by July 15. Entries must have been taken on the Refuge. More info, including contest rules and entry forms, can be found on the Neal Smith NWR website. You may also pick up information at the Refuge or contact Doreen_vanryswyk@fws.gov to have the forms emailed or mailed to you. All contest entries will be on display at the refuge during November and December.