SCHEDULED PROGRAMS        February 2020

21st Annual Everglades Day Family Festival

Saturday, February 8, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Parking at West Delray Regional Park, 10875 W Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach

Join us for Everglades Day, our all-day family festival, with activities for all ages. This year's theme is "Habitats of the Everglades." Enjoy guided tours, nature walks, bird walks, wildlife demonstrations, presentations, exhibits, games, kids' fishing, kids' archery, face painting, canoeing, live music, dance, food trucks and much more! The Palm Beach Zoo, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and Okeeheelee Nature Center will exhibit some of their rehabilitated wildlife and the Plein Air painters will be all around the Refuge painting what they see.

All day free admission. Free parking for visitors 3 miles south of the Refuge at West Delray Regional Park, 10875 W Atlantic Ave, with buses running to the Refuge Visitor Center and back continuously, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors in wheelchairs and those with other special needs can use one of two vans that will be looping among festival venues, starting at the Visitor Center. Volunteers also park at West Delray Regional Park, with the first bus leaving at 7:00 a.m. for those helping with setup.

Everglades Day program schedule:


Thank you to all of our donors and sponsors who have made our 20th annual Everglades Day possible, with special thanks to the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation, Audubon Everglades and the Friends of the Refuge!

Boat Ramp Closed for Everglades Day

The boat ramp at the west end of Lee Road will be closed on February 8 for Everglades Day.

Plein Air Art Contest Reception and Awards Presentation with Ukulele Music

Sunday, February 16, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

After watching the artists of Plein Air Palm Beach creating their works of art here on Everglades Day, come join the Friends and the artists for a reception and awards presentation on Sunday afternoon of the following weekend in the Visitor Center theater. Enjoy light refreshments and meet and mingle with the artists to the gentle sounds of ukulele music from the Boynton Uke Society.

The paintings will be on display in the Visitor Center theater until April, so even if you can't attend, please come out later and see for yourself the outstanding artwork! Most of the paintings will be available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds (20%) will be donated to the Friends.

Family Fishing Day

Saturday, February 22, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Learn about knot-tying, fish identification, fishing ethics and conservation, casting and fishing. Fishing poles and bait are provided, or you can bring your own. Youth under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants between the ages 16 and 64 must possess a Florida Fishing License. Meet at the Visitor Center.

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

Junior Ranger Manager Program Day

Friday, February 28, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Become a Junior Refuge Manager and help us protect our resources! Elementary-aged youth are invited to earn a Junior Refuge Manager Badge. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.

The day will begin with an orientation session in the Visitor Center theater, with the remainder of the morning available for participants to circulate among four stations around the Marsh Trail, the Cypress Swamp, and the Visitor Center exhibit area. Activities will introduce topics including alligators, ferns and Everglades habitats. After completing the activities, participants will review their work with an environmental educator, take a pledge to help preserve wild places like the Refuge, and be presented with their Junior Refuge Manager badge.

The Junior Refuge Manager Day program is free with paid admission to the Refuge. February 28 is a teachers' professional development and duty day in Palm Beach County, so students have the day off. Students in public, private, and home school are invited to participate in this event. The event will be rain or shine and participants should dress as appropriate for the weather. For more information please call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303.

Freshwater Fly Fishing

Saturday, February 29, 1:00 p.m.

Participants can try their hand at freshwater fly fishing. A limited number of fly rods are available, so please bring your own or borrow one from a friend if possible. Email by February 26 to register.

Secrets of the Everglades Tours

Every Thursday, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Join a volunteer naturalist who will reveal secrets about the formation of the Northern Everglades and the Refuge's current habitats, aquatic plants and animal life. Walk through wetland areas and take a look at what lies beneath the surface! Learn about Loxahatchee peat, spider lily, spatterdock and periphyton and why the once threatened American alligator now thrives at the Refuge.

Best suited for ages 8 and up, but all ages welcome. Must be able to traverse up to one mile on flat, unpaved grassy surface. Inclement weather may cause cancelation - call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303 to confirm. Bring water, hat, sunscreen and insect repellent. Meet at the Marsh trail parking lot.

Guided Bike Tours

Every Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 a.m., except February 8

Bring your bicycle and helmet and join your guide for a 6.5-mile wheeled tour. Gain perspective with an introduction to the historic dimensions of the Northern Everglades and then pedal to selected Refuge features, interesting plants and hopefully wildlife! Learn about the unique role of the Refuge and the challenges posed by exotic pest plants. Meet in the Marsh Trail parking lot.

Night Walks

Monday, February 10 & 24, 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.

Everglades Tram Tours

Daily, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. except February 8
Every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. except February 8

Grab your camera and binoculars and enjoy the Refuge on an approximately 1.5 to 2-hour tram tour. The open-air tram provides 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.

Twilight Tram Tour

Tuesday, February 11, 6:00 p.m.

Experience sunset over the Everglades followed by a moonlit drive on the marsh in an open-air tram. The tour lasts between 1 and 2 hours. Meet at the Visitor Center.

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

Sunrise Photography Tours

Photography Walking Tours - Sunday, February 9, 7:00 a.m. & February 23, 6:50 a.m.
Photography Tram Tour - Sunday, February 16, 6:55 a.m.

Explore, learn, enjoy, and record the natural resources and biological treasures of the Refuge with award-winning photographers Dr. Peter Lekos and Lora Lekos on an early morning photography tour. Reservations may be required because space is limited to give personal attention to each photographer. Walking tours may cover a distance of 3 - 5 miles. Meet at the Marsh Trail parking lot near the gazebo. Sunrise times are approximate.

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

Early Morning Bird Walks

Every Wednesday, 7:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Join our volunteer naturalist from Audubon Everglades for an early morning bird walk on the Marsh Trail. Bring binoculars and wear closed-toed/closed heel shoes. These walks are open to birders of all ages and abilities. Meet in the Marsh Trail parking lot. Please arrive 5 - 10 minutes before the walk starts to meet your guide.

Check out recent sightings from eBird Trail Tracker:
... and view our Bird Checklist:

Swamp Strolls

Every Friday & Saturday, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Join a volunteer naturalist for a guided tour on the 0.4 mile Cypress Swamp Boardwalk. Learn about the swamp ecosystem from cypress tree knees to animals that call the swamp home. Your guide will talk about how the plants of the swamp were used in the past and present for medicine, food, fiber, transportation, construction, and ceremonial objects. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Roving Wildlife Photographer

Every Saturday, 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, binoculars, and your camera. The tour can be from 3-5 miles. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Roving Naturalist

Every Friday, 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Every Sunday, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 11 & 25, 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.

A volunteer naturalist will be strolling around the Visitor Center, Cypress Swamp Boardwalk and Marsh Trail, answering questions and discussing the plants and wildlife of the swamp. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Guided Canoe Tours

Sunday, February 16, 9:00 a.m.

Meet at the Lee Road Boat Ramp to enjoy a beautiful canoe tour guided by a volunteer naturalist through a portion of the Refuge interior. Explore the northernmost end of the Everglades on this approximately 1.5 to 2-hour tour. You may rent a canoe or kayak 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, February 8, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 7, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 11, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 9, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 6, 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

Fee-Free Day: Presidents' Day - February 17

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is waiving admission fees at all National Wildlife Refuges on Presidents' Day, February 17.

Birds in Flight 3-Day Photography Workshop

Saturday, February 29, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Visitor Center Theater
Sunday, March 1, 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Hands-On Photography - Wakodahatchee Wetlands
Saturday, March 7, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Visitor Center Theater

Our award-winning photographers Mike Cohen and Don Hamilton are back, once again leading a 3-day intermediate level photography workshop. Participants who want to improve their basic technique, capture birds in flight, control depth of field and exposure, evaluate light and have some fun are welcome. Mike and Don will do their best to help people at whatever their level and interest, but this workshop will be most useful for intermediate to advanced photographers interested in improving their nature and wildlife image-making skills.

Space is limited. Participants must plan to attend all 3 sessions, bring your camera manual to all sessions and be generally familiar with the operation of their equipment, particularly how to set aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Entry fee is $50 per participant, with all funds donated to the Friends of the Refuge.

Please contact Mike or Don to reserve your spot. They will ask a few questions about your level of experience, your equipment and your goals in order to best prepare for the workshop.

Mike Cohen 954-815-5955

Don Hamilton 561-212-7358

37th Annual Photography Contest

Entries accepted now thru Sunday, March 29
Reception and Award Presentation: Sunday, May 3, 1:00 p.m.

Entries for the Friends' annual Photography Contest are now being accepted at the Visitor Center. All entries must be taken on the Refuge or in areas adjacent to the Refuge, including the Stormwater Treatment Areas STA1E & STA1W.

Six categories will be accepted - Avian, Fauna, Flora, Landscape, Artistic and Youth. All entries must be submitted on a CD, DVD or USB flash drive. Winners will be announced at the Awards Reception at the Visitor Center on May 3.

If you need assistance with digitizing or post-processing or have other questions, please contact or visit

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

COBWRA Water and Wetlands Symposium: Water Wise and Why

Tuesday, February 11, 5:30 p.m.
Location: Tuscany Bay Clubhouse, 5087 Palazzo Place, Boynton Beach

The Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations is presenting a symposium and environmental expo featuring educational exhibits and a distinguished panel of experts, including Moderator Lisa Interlandi of the Everglades Law Center and Panelists Paul Owens, President of 1000 Friends of Florida, Jeremy McBryan, Palm Beach County Water Resources Manager, Laurie Albrecht, Palm Beach County Environmental Horticulture Agent - UF/IFAS Extension, and Robert Robbins, Sustainable Palm Beach County Board Member. Educational, interactive displays will be provided by over 10 exhibitors. Pre-Registration is recommended at, but walk-ins are welcome. For more information about COBWRA, go to

Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group: Wakodahatchee/Refuge Nature Walk

Saturday, February 22, 9:30 a.m.

Join the Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group for a 2-part Nature Walk in the "Birder Paradises" of Wakodahatchee Wetlands and our own Refuge. Each location provides accessible boardwalks, allowing for easy viewing of birds. Suggested donation: $12 Sierra Club members, $15 non-members. Participant limit is 20 people. Reserve your spot by contacting the Leader: Adriene Barmann, or 954-328-9447.

Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group: Updates on the Stop Sugar Field Burning Campaign

Thursday, February 27, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Speaker: Patrick Ferguson, Esq., Sierra Club Organizing Representative
Location: Quaker Meetinghouse, 823 N. A St, Lake Worth

The Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group's monthly meeting will feature Patrick Ferguson, sharing what he learned last summer when he visited the Native Brand's Green Cane Project in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the largest organic agricultural operation in the world producing 100% burn-free green harvested sugarcane. He will discuss how Florida's environment and the communities impacted by toxic pre-harvest sugarcane field burning can benefit from the adoption of sustainable burn-free green harvesting as practiced in Brazil. He will also provide the latest updates on the growing momentum of the Stop Sugarcane Field Burning Campaign's push to end pre-harvest sugarcane field burning in favor of green harvesting. The meeting is free and open to the public.



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