Forsythe to celebrate grand reopening of Wildlife Drive

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Forsythe Forsythe

GALLOWAY –  Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge will host a grand reopening 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 18 marking completed repairs to the refuge’s eight-mile Wildlife Drive.

Hurricane Sandy created large holes in the top and sides of the Wildlife Drive, which had been closed since the hurricane last October and reopened on April 20.

The Federal Highway Administration funded the repairs through the Emergency Relief to Federally Owned Roads program at a total cost of $1.4 million.

A $10,000 donation from Texas-based Sabre Holdings, a global travel technology company, also helped fund repairs. The donation was made through a gift to the Conservation Fund. Thanks to Sabre's donation, the refuge will continue to make critical repairs to dikes that help separate freshwater from saltwater on the Wildlife Drive, benefiting tens of thousands of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds this season.

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo and Refuge Manager Virginia Rettig will speak at 9 a.m. Activities will include bird and nature walks at 8, 10 and 11 a.m. There will be family archery at 10 a.m., as well as children’s activities in the refuge’s Nature Discovery Area and the opportunity for attendees to explore new exhibits in Forsythe’s Visitor Information Center. The Wildlife Drive will also be open for exploration, with certified interpretive guides stationed at key viewpoints to help visitors better enjoy and understand the refuge. Free light refreshments will be available. No advance registration is necessary

Children’s activities will include the opportunity to plant seeds in home-made pots, scavenger hunts, animal puppets, and the chance to meet T.R. Bear. The bird and nature walks will be led by guides. Loaner binoculars will be available.

Wildlife Drive traverses marshland and forest, and is the most popular destination on the refuge, with more than 100,000 visitors in a normal year.

Updates on refuge happenings may be found on the refuge Facebook page, www.facebook.com/forsythenwr. For information, contact the refuge at (609) 652-1665 or see www.fws.gov/northeast/forsythe.


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