News

  • Tuesday, October 13, 2015 5:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From October 15 - April 14, the Refuge Visitor Center will be open every day from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Be sure to stop in to see the exhibits and find out the latest news about the Refuge from the friendly staff & volunteers.

     

  • Saturday, October 03, 2015 11:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 22, and plan to come out for the Refuge Christmas Bird Count. Paul Swacina is taking the lead again, and Steve Reisinger will be co-compiler. It's a great way to enjoy a day of birding at the refuge, and the information collected by observers helps in the study of the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. The Christmas Bird count is one of the longest-running citizen science projects in North America.

     

    You don't have to be an expert to participate. Even brand new birders can help spot birds. Beginners are placed with more experienced birders; it's a good way to learn, and meet other birders. There is no charge for the event.

     

    If you're interested & want to be included in on the email list for more information,

    contact Paul.

     

     

  • Tuesday, September 22, 2015 4:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We had a great time at HummerBird Celebration. Our sales were good, earning money to help us support Aransas National Wildlife Refuge projects. Even better, we had the opportunity to talk with a lot of people about the Refuge and our Friends group. Best of all, Refuge Project Leader Joe Saenz and Visitor Services Manager Laura were able to join us part of the time to meet people and tell them about some of the exciting things going on at the Refuge.

      

    Thank you to our members Patrick Rios, Linda Frank, Melanie Konarik, Ron Smudy, Fred Lanoue, and Linda Lanoue for making our booth possible.

  • Monday, September 14, 2015 4:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2015 Rockport-Fulton HummerBird Celebration is this weekend, & we'll be there Friday 9/18-Sunday 9/20. We will be featuring books and Quick Reference Guides by Kevin T. Karlson, keynote speaker and workshop leader at the festival. His new book is Birding By Impression, which teaches a simple approach to bird identification by noting  basic characteristics. His book, The Shorebird Guide, is widely recognized as being one of the best on the subject. We also have his  tri-fold guides: Raptors of Eastern North America, Waterfowl of North America, and the recently released Shorebirds of North America. 

     

    Besides books for all ages, we'll have our popular Whooping Crane Recovery and other shirts, a good selection of the amazing recycled Jabebo earrings, and much more.  As always, we'll have free information about Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, and gladly answer any questions anyone might have.

     

    Our booth will be in the high school. If you're in the area, stop by to shop, or just say hello. Hope to see you there. If you can't make it this weekend, we'll have these items and more

    in our nature store in the Refuge Visitor Center after HummerBird.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Wednesday, August 19, 2015 6:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have been awarded a grant through the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation to create an interpretive pollinator garden at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The grants were awarded through the National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant Program, a collaborative effort between the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Wildlife Refuge Association, National Audubon Society, and Enbridge.

     

    The garden will be created in an unused area beside the Visitor Center parking lot, and will feature native plants known to attract Monarch & other butterflies, as well as other pollinators. It will serve both to provide safe habitat for native pollinators, and educate the public about the benefits of, and relationship between, native plants and pollinators.

     

    We will be reaching out to other groups and individual members of the community to help with this project. If you're interested in becoming involved, or would like more information, please contact us.

     

     

                                               Photo by Elizabeth Sellers, USGS

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015 3:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

     

    Friends of Aransas is partnering with Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to treat and monitor invasive Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) on the Tatton Unit of the Refuge. The Refuge received a grant to work with Friends and Refuge volunteers to mechanically remove mesquite, and apply herbicide from a UTV. The Tatton Unit is the largest remaining section of coastal prairie in the area. Without treatment, mesquite will continue to spread and cause additional strain on all flora and fauna that rely on these valuable and limited grasslands.

     

    The target area is Tatton Unit T7, which is 98 acres. Currently mesquite is estimated to cover 40% of that unit. It is hoped that 100% of the mesquite will be removed from that area.

     

    More help is needed. If you're interested in helping, please email us

     

     

  • Friday, July 31, 2015 8:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    Jennifer Brown has joined the Aransas NWR staff as Environmental Education Specialist! Jen grew up in South Florida, and graduated from Florida International University in Miami with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies. After graduation, she became an Environmental Education Intern with USFWS at the Southeast Louisiana Refuges Complex.

     

    Jennifer later worked in the Louisiana State Park system at the Louisiana State Arboretum and Bayou Segnette Sate Park. She returned to USFWS as a temporary ranger at Ottawa NWR, where she wrote and was awarded a $50,000 grant to improve the Environmental Education program and cover her salary. She then worked in the VISTA program for a year, before going to the Texas Mid-coast Refuge Complex. While at Mid-coast, she worked with their Friends group to facilitate hands-on field trips and educational special events.

     

    Jen comes with high praise, not only from her former employers, but also from Friends members at Ottawa and Mid-Coast. We are pleased and excited to welcome her to Aransas! 

  • Wednesday, July 08, 2015 5:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Representatives of Hilcorp Energy visited Aransas NWR July 7th. Jill Fisk, Asset Team Leader, and Justin Furnace, Corporate Manager of External Affairs, came to learn more about Friends of Aransas, and to tour the Refuge. Earlier this year, Hilcorp Energy joined the Friends at the Corporate level.

    During the meeting, ideas were exchanged for possible future projects. They were later given a tour of the Refuge by Friends Director Ron Smudy and Board President Fred Lanoue.

    We're excited about this new partnership and look forward to working together. If you'd like to see more about Hilcorp, visit their website.

  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015 3:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Irma Hernandez Schreiner is the new manager of the Friends Nature Store. Irma is a board member and has been a regular volunteer in the store. She will bring fresh ideas and energy to the store operations. You can see more about Irma on our "Meet the Board" page.

     

     

  • Monday, June 22, 2015 7:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Joe Saenz, former Deputy Project Leader at Aransas NWR has returned as Project Leader. Joe has been with the US Fish & Wildlife Service for nearly 24 years, working in Minnesota & Utah before coming to Aransas. Since leaving Aransas in 2009, he has worked at Bitter Lake NWR in New Mexico, and most recently was Project Leader of the North Louisiana Refuge Complex. Joe is a native Texan, and says he is glad to come home to Texas and Aransas.

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