Upcoming Events

Migration Staffing — Wildlife Observation Center. Saturday, August 23 - Sunday, November 8. Volunteers needed!

Visitor Center Volunteer Orientation. Saturday, October 10, 1:30—3 p.m.Volunteers are needed to assist in the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center greeting visitors, answering questions, and providing an orientation to Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Sound interesting? Come learn more about this rewarding volunteer opportunity. For new and prospective volunteers. Visitor Center.

Citizen Science Opportunity!

Big Sit

Friends’ Swamp Sitters Host The Big Sit! Sunday, October 11, Dawn to dusk. Learn more about birds and bird identification during this annual event. Lets go outside paw print Stop by during the day and join the fun — for a little while… or longer! Takes place at the Overlook on Pleasant Plains Road.

Lets go outside paw print

NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE WEEK. October 11-17. Sunset walks every night, 5:30 p.m.-dark. Join us to watch the many species of migrating ducks that descend into the Refuge pools to spend the night. It’s awesome! Easy walk on service roads. Wear sturdy shoes, bring a flashlight. Meet at Bluebird Parking Lot, 197 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding Township NJ.

Lets go outside paw print

Second Sunday with Friends — Your Backyard Wildlife Refuge. Sunday, October 11, 1:30-3 p.m. Don’t just rely on store-bought seeds and suet to attract birds and other wildlife to your yard. Join Master Naturalist Garry Annibal to learn how to choose the right plants and create other landscape features to turn your yard into your own wildlife refuge. Visitor Center.

Refuge Readers. Friday, October 16, 2-3:30 p.m. The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild, by Craig Childs. New members always welcome. Visitor Center.

Youth Deer Hunt. Saturday, October 31. Refuge closed, except Wilderness Area.

Annual Refuge Deer Hunt. Wednesday, November 4 through Saturday, November 7. Entire Refuge closed.

Lets go outside paw print

indicates programs suitable for children

Download the Event Calendar:
Get Adobe Reader August-December 2015 (pdf, Adobe Reader required).


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2015 Photo Contest Winners

Winners of the 2015 Great Swamp National Wildlife Photo Contest were announced at the 16th Annual Fall Festival, Saturday, September 12. Friends of Great Swamp board member Laurel Gould thanked all of the photographers who submitted photos for this year’s contest. Contest judges Bill Koch and Jim Gilbert remarked on the quality and diversity of the photos making judging a challenging task. Winners were presented with a gift certificate to the Friends Nature Shop and a current Federal Duck Stamp.

Winning Landscape photo by Larry West

Winning Landscape photo by Larry West

2015 Refuge Photo Contest Winners
Category: Birds
First place: Chuck Hantis
Second place: Jim Duffy
Honorable mention: Dorota Jansiewicz

Category: Landscape
First place: Larry West
Second place: Richard Harris
Honorable mention: Robert Stapperfenne

Category: Plants
First place: Maureen Duffy
Second place: Carol Duffy
Honorable mention: Margaret Whiting

Category: Wilderness
First place: Jim Duffy
Second place: Gay Raab
Honorable mention: Robert Stapperfenne

Category: Wildlife
First place: Carol Duffy
Second place: Maureen Duffy
Honorable mention: Gay Raab

Category: Youth
Best of Youth: Samantha Moy
Honorable mention: Madison Kenny
Honorable mention: Caitlin Moy
Honorable mention: Caroline Monks
Honorable mention: Justine Wang

Winning photos will be added to the Friends web site shortly and displayed in the Visitor Center from September 26 until the end of December 2015. A DVD showing all of the 2015 entries will be showing continuously in the Visitor Center. Stop by during Visitor Center hours and be amazed at the beauty of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Friends board member Larry West announced that the 2016 Refuge Photo Contest has begun and encouraged photographers to get out on the Refuge to capture the beauty of Fall landscapes. The 2016 Photo Contest Form will be made available in the near future.

The Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center will reopen at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 29th, and resume normal hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Ongoing repairs will necessitate a temporary entrance. Please follow the posted signs.

See more photos on the
Refuge’s Flickr page.

Click on the Great Swamp NWR link in the top right corner below to go to the eBird website. There you can look at the data in more detail.