Family Fishing Day

Saturday, June 9, 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Get kids hooked on fishing! Families with children ages 12 and under are invited to learn about casting and fishing, knot-tying, fish identification, and fishing ethics and conservation. Meet at the C-6 Pavilion. Please call 561-735-6029 or email to reserve your spot today!

Sunset Everglades Tours

Tuesday, June 5, 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 19, 6:00 p.m.

Experience the unique sights and sounds of the Everglades at night! Meet at the Visitor Center for a guided twilight tour of the Refuge. Try to arrive a little before the tour starts as a courtesy to others. Wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants, good walking shoes with closed toes and heels, and bring a jacket, water, a good flashlight and bug spray. You might also like to bring a hat. Walk is approximately 1 mile.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303.

Roving Wildlife Photographer

Fridays and Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.

Take a guided walking tour of some of our most beautiful spots in the Refuge. View and photograph wildlife in its natural settings with our volunteer roving photographer, Ira Rappaport. Ira will show you areas where some of the most recent sightings of wildlife have been reported and other locations that might make for great photo opportunities. Bring water, comfortable closed-toe shoes or sneakers, a hat to block the sun, sun screen lotion, binoculars, and your camera. The tour can be from 3-5 miles. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Roving Naturalist on Cypress Swamp Boardwalk

Tuesday, June 12 & 26, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

A volunteer naturalist will be strolling around the Cypress Swamp Boardwalk, answering questions and discussing flora and fauna of the swamp.

Tram Tours of the Marsh

Every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. except Friday, June 22
Every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. except Friday, June 8 & 22

Take an open-air Tram tour with our volunteer naturalist for a unique view into the wildlife, marshes and cypress swamps of the Refuge. Your guide will talk about the Refuge, its birds and other wildlife, the ongoing research in the mini-Everglades impoundments of LILA, and answer all your questions in the comfort of your shaded electric tram. Meet at the Visitor Center front desk 15 minutes prior to the tour.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303.

Guided Canoe Tours

Every Saturday, 9:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Meet at the Lee Road Boat Ramp to enjoy a beautiful canoe tour through a portion of the Refuge interior. You may rent a canoe for $35 from Loxahatchee Canoeing or bring your own. (One canoe seats 2 to 3 people.)

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303.

Enjoy this 3-minute video made on the canoe trail:

Moonlight Guided Canoe Tours

Saturday, May 26, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 30, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 28, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 25, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 22, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 20, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 24, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 22, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Meet at the Lee Road Boat Ramp to enjoy a guided moonlight canoe tour through a portion of the Refuge interior. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants and bring a flashlight and bug spray.

Canoe rental from Loxahatchee Canoeing is $35; you may not bring your own. (One canoe seats 2 to 3 people.)


*** Programs subject to change, for more information on any of the activities and programs, please call the Visitor Center at (561) 734-8303.

Events are listed on the Friends website at

Audubon Society of the Everglades: Recent Surges in Wading Bird Nesting and Wildlife Effects in the STAs

Tuesday, June 5, 7:00 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Mark Cook, Lead Scientist, Everglades Systems Assessment Section, South Florida Water Management District
Location: Main Branch of the Palm Beach County Library System, 3650 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach

All are invited to the monthly meeting of the Audubon Society of the Everglades to hear Dr. Mark Cook present "Guano, Bones, and Hurricanes: Recent Surges in Wading Bird Nesting and Wildlife Effects in the Stormwater Treatment Areas." Mark is the chief editor of the annual South Florida Wading Bird Report, on which he collaborates closely with other wading bird scientists in South Florida, including those from Audubon Florida. He has spent the past 14 years studying wading birds in South Florida. His research focus is wading birds, and how wetland processes such as water levels and nutrient run-off affect wading bird foraging and reproductive success. The goal for this research is to help restore and manage wading bird populations in the Everglades.

The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information visit or contact Gerry Felipe at 754-777-9660 or

Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group: The Smog Of the Sea

Saturday, June 30, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Location: Quaker Meetinghouse, 823 N. A St., Lake Worth

After years of hearing about ocean "garbage patches," the crew of the @5Gyres SEA (Sea Education Association) Change research expedition is stunned to learn that there is actually a "fog" of microplastics - trillions of barely visible shards - permeating the world's oceans. How do you stop a fog? With sparkling underwater cinematography, this 30-minute film makes an artful call to action against single-use plastic. Join the Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group's monthly meeting for a free screening of this film, followed by a discussion of ways to reduce the amount of waste we produce.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Learn more at and capture your commitment now at . In addition, you can take the pledge against single-use plastics at

2018 Photography Contest Awards

Thank you to all who entered our 2018 photography contest, to our distinguished judges from the Everglades Photographic Society, and especially to Cathy Patterson, Jay Paredes, Rick Schofield and the other volunteers whose hard work made this contest possible!

And the winners are:

Best in Show: Arthur Jacoby - Kung Foo Fighters - Limpkins
Manager's Choice: David Kendall - Raccoon Eating Cocoplums
Artistic: 1st - Evelyn Garcia - Where's That Bug? Vermilion Flycatcher; 2nd - Jeanne Lesperance - Purple Martin; 3rd - Evelyn Garcia - Exotic Lunch - Bobcat With Iguana; Honorable Mention: Jo Ann Ricchiuti - Silhouettes at Sunset, Jane Coelho - Tree Reflection, Steve Schwartz - Early Morning Wakeup - White Ibis Silhouettes in Cypress Tree
Avian: 1st - Ira Rappaport - Chuck Will's Widow; 2nd - Ruth Pannunzio - Pileated Woodpecker; 3rd - Ruth Pannunzio - Vermilion Flycatcher; Honorable Mention: Evelyn Garcia - Love Is In the Air - Red-shouldered Hawks, Frank Silverman - Purple Gallinule in Flight, Ira Rappaport - Great Horned Owl
Fauna: 1st - Jo Ann Ricchiuti - Are You Looking At Me? Bobcat; 2nd - Ruth Pannunzio - Two Deer; 3rd - Ruth Pannunzio - Bobcats; Honorable Mention: David Kendall - Baby Gator and Mom, Diane Munster - Peek-a-Boo Bobcat, Jeanne Lesperance - Landing Gear Down - Dragonfly
Flora: 1st - Jo Ann Ricchiuti - Elderberries; 2nd - Ira Rappaport - White Morning Glory with Dew; 3rd - Frank Silverman - Red - Virginia Creeper; Honorable Mention: Alan Fabricant - Lot's Happening - Duck Potato, Arthur Jacoby - Bright Water Lily, Harvey Mendelson - Reeds
Landscapes: 1st - Arthur Jacoby - Early Morning; 2nd - Jennifer Esten - Sunset Fly-In; 3rd - Grace Clarke - Reach for New Heights on the Sawgrass; Honorable Mention: Arthur Jacoby - Exploring Loxahatchee, Leslie Gelman - Beautiful Sunset, Leslie Gelman - Orange Sunset
Youth: 1st - Claire Mierau - Model Butterfly - Palamedes Swallowtail

The winning photographs are on display in the Visitor Center auditorium and available for sale. All of the photos can be viewed on our website at:

9th Annual Juried Art Contest - Loxahatchee Visions - Volunteers Needed!

Entries accepted: Sunday, October 28 - Saturday, November 3
Reception and Award Presentation: Sunday, November 11, 1:00 p.m.

The contest is open to all artists. Each artist may submit one or two works of art, inspired by "Loxahatchee Visions." Any media or mixed media may be used, with the exception of photography. (Save your photographs for next year's photo contest!) Each entry must be framed and ready for hanging. Wrapped canvas edges are fine. Size limit is 36" on each side, including frame.

Prizes will be awarded in 2 categories - Novice (to age 18) and Adult (age 18 and older).
First prize - $250; Second prize - $150; Third prize - $100.

The entry fee is $10 for Friends members, volunteers and Refuge staff, and $25 for non-members. The fee is waived for Novices. Bring your artwork along with the entry form and entry fee in an envelope labeled "Friends Art Contest" to the Visitor Center.

For the Contest Entry Form and the complete set of rules, go to:

Would you or someone you know would like to help organize this contest? Please contact us at!

Nature Store Volunteers Needed!

The Friends are looking for volunteers to work in the Friends' Nature Store in the Visitor Center - please contact Cathy Patterson at

Does Your Group Need a Speaker?

The Refuge is reaching out to our local community with an exciting opportunity. Several experienced Refuge volunteers have formed a Speakers Bureau to provide information and education about the Refuge to local residents. If your group is interested in hosting a speaking engagement, we would be happy to work with you. The presentation is approximately one hour in length and designed for a lay audience. You will learn fascinating facts about Everglades wildlife, plants, and habitats as well as the many recreational and educational opportunities that exist on the Refuge. Programs are free and can be arranged during the day, in the evening, or on weekends. For more information or to schedule a presentation, please call or email Sue Rowe, 207-440-0121, or Steve Henry, 561-735-6021,

Public Comment Invited

Comments accepted until Friday, August 3

Public comment is invited on recreational opportunities at the Refuge. As part of its recently signed License Agreement, the state of Florida asks the Refuge to evaluate 25 recreational enhancements for compatibility and possible implementation on the Refuge. As part of this process the Refuge is developing a detailed Visitor Services Plan. The plan will outline the goals, objectives, and strategies for implementing and managing existing and expanded wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities that are determined to be compatible with the purpose of the Refuge and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Refuge is asking our partners and the general public to provide their suggestions for evaluation and inclusion in the plan. The plan will outline a range of management alternatives based on the public input received.

Comments can be mailed to A.R.M. Loxahatchee VSP, P.O. Box 924, Freeport, FL 32439, or sent by e-mail to

For more information, go to:

The proposed recreational enhancements are contained in Appendix C of the new License Agreement:



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