Cape Gazette
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Prime Hook Refuge launches full month of events with May 6 archery shoot

Apr 29, 2014

The Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge May calendar is blooming with activities starting Tuesday, May 6 with a Family Fun Archery Shoot scheduled for 4:30 to 6 p.m. for anyone age 8 through adult. The program will be held indoors. Participants should meet at the refuge office for an orientation. The program is free and all equipment is provided.

The first of two guided bird walks in May will begin at 7 a.m., Thursday, May 8, at the refuge office. A second guided bird walk will begin at 7 a.m., Sunday, May 11, at the refuge office. Led by volunteer birding guides, beginner and experienced bird watchers will enjoy observing and learning about the bird species frequenting the refuge at this time of year. Visitors should come prepared for the weather and expect to walk up to a mile.

Visitors should bring binoculars, a field guide, and a spotting scope (the leader will have spotting scopes also). Binoculars will be available to borrow. In case of light rain, a trip will still go, but it will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain. Insect repellent and sunscreen are recommended in the warmer months. Trips are free, open to the public, and last approximately three hours.

In An Evening at the Hook Lecture Series, 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 8, Karen Bennett, program manager for the Delaware Bayshore Initiative, will give a presentation for transforming the Delaware Bayshore into one of the nation’s most important conservation and recreation areas.

Extending from Pea Patch Island in New Castle County to the City of Lewes in Sussex County, the Delaware Bay shoreline is widely recognized as an area of global ecological significance. Its expansive coastal marshes, shoreline, agricultural lands and forests provide diverse habitat to many species of wildlife. The lecture is free, open to the public, and fun for the entire family. Seating is limited on a first-come, first-served basis in the refuge’s auditorium. Light refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.

A guided walk will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 10. Hikers will explore some of the trails through the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Led by an experienced naturalist, the group will not only examine the vegetation along the trail but also check natural signs left by plants and animals that suggest a high diversity of the environment. The group will be exploring open hiking trails that wander through the refuge for 1.5 to 2 miles. The outing is well suited for schoolchildren and adults; do not bring family pets on the walk. Meet at the refuge office.

P.R.I.M.E. time, Preschooler Reading Initiative to Magnify the Enviroment, takes place from 10 to 11 a.m., Monday, May 12. Preschoolers and their parents are invited to listen to a nature-based story and participate in a related activity that will help them learn about the environment. This month’s topic is Bees. Participation is free, and preregistration is not required. Meet at the refuge auditorium.

Family Fun Archery Shoot will be offered for the second time during the month from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 13. The program will be held indoors. Meet at the refuge office. Parents are encouraged to participate with their child. The program is free and all equipment is provided.

Nature Through a Lens starts at 8 a.m., Wednesday, May 14. Participants will select a location on the refuge and photograph plants, wildlife, and landscapes every month. Images will be printed and displayed in the refuge auditorium to showcase nature’s seasonal transitions. Photographers can bring their own cameras or borrow one from the refuge. Meet in the refuge auditorium.

A guided walk, Night Sounds on the Refuge, is scheduled for 7:30 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, May 14. Come prepared for the weather and expect frequent stops. Beginner nature enthusiasts are welcome. Trips are free and open to the public. Meet at the refuge office.

The annual Horseshore Crab-Shorebird Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 24. In partnership with the Milton Chamber of Commerce for 11 years, the refuge celebrates horseshoe crabs, shorebirds, and other natural resources while encouraging citizen awareness and participation in wildlife-dependent recreation.

Activities occur at the Milton Municipal Park and Prime Hook NWR. Milton Municipal Park will feature music, a tent with exhibits from environmental organizations, food, children’s activities, the Horseshoe Crab Express train ride, scavenger hunts, art show, canoe rentals, boat rides, and games. Prime Hook NWR will feature opportunities for visitors to get outside and connect with nature such as a guided canoe trip, nature hikes, pond seining, videos, birding trips, building bluebird houses, archery family fun shoot, horseshoe crab touch tank, and more.

Refuge information will be provided on a shuttle bus traveling between the town and the refuge. For more information, visit the Milton Chamber of Commerce at www.historicmilton.com/events or the refuge at www.fws.gov/refuge/Prime_Hook.

A birding field trip is also scheduled for May at Prime Hook. Date and time TBA.

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is open every day from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset in designated areas. The Visitor Center is open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday year round. On weekends, the Visitor Center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April through November.

Call the refuge office at 302-684-8419 or go to www.fws.gov/refuge/Prime_Hook to learn more about other events and programs throughout the year.

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