Friends . . . we all need them.  
The National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) has always been fortunate to have people willing to volunteer their time to assist their local refuges in meeting the goals and mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The contributions of our volunteers to wildlife conservation have been immeasurable. Refuge volunteers are no longer referred to as just volunteers but instead they are referred to as friends.

A friend helps out when you need them; they’re always there for you . . . and that’s exactly the kind of assistance refuges around the nation are enjoying more and more through volunteer efforts. That’s why the National Wildlife Refuge System developed the Friends of National Wildlife Refuges program in 1996. Most all of the 544 national wildlife refuges in the NWRS now have the luxury of having friends united in “Associations” to provide assistance in all aspects of refuge management.

In 1999, the Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge (CRNWR) started its own Friends Association when they asked a few unique, talented, conservation-minded individuals to begin a support association called THE FRIENDS OF THE CLARKS RIVER NWR. The Friends of the Clarks River NWR are private citizens gathered into a non-profit organization for the purpose of helping the refuge meet its goals. We also promote conservation and appreciation of the outdoors, and awareness of the needs of the natural environment and its inhabitants. We work hard to build community awareness regarding the needs of the refuge, as well as to communicate to the community the opportunities for outdoor education and recreation available through the refuge. We’re even involved in educational opportunities for local schools and youth organizations, and offer opportunities for Eagle Scouts, FFA, and 4H members to plan and carry out projects so we can assist them in meeting their goals.

The Friends of the Clarks River NWR are an invaluable resource for the refuge. Take a few minutes to check out what we’re doing, what we’re planning, and how you can have fun and learn more about the refuge by becoming a Friend!

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