By Kathy Whaley, Refuge Manager, with photo by Chris Jennings
Calling all nature explorers! Ever see an animal track and wonder what made it? Do you like to look at birds, but don’t have a pair of binoculars? What kind of snake is that lying across the trail? Would a field guide to birds help you determine if you are looking at a Snow Goose or Ross’s Goose?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, or just enjoy digging a little deeper into the great outdoors than a ride down the wildlife drive, the Friends of Hagerman have a new tool to help you. Four backpacks have been stuffed with items including (1) field guides to birds and other species such as trees, reptiles, or amphibians, (2) laminated photos with tracks of a few species of common Refuge wildlife, (3) a note pad and pencil to write down what you found on your visit, (4) binoculars, and (5) even a hand-held, Earthmate GPS to help you find your way to new places on the Refuge!
The best part is….. these backpacks are available for you to check-out and take with you for the day FREE OF CHARGE. All you have to do is stop by the headquarters to pick it up. The only think you will need to provide is a copy of the driver’s license for the person driving the car, and a contact phone number. Come on out and explore Hagerman! There’s a whole natural world out there just waiting on you.
Headquarters at Hagerman NWR is located in a temporary office/trailer on Refuge Road, and is open Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 4 pm; Saturday, 9 am - 3 pm, and Sunday, 1 - 4 pm. Holiday hours: open Dec. 24, 10 - Noon; closed Dec. 25. Open Jan. 1, 10 am - 3 pm. Visitors are welcome; please stop and sign in. Free maps, guides and brochures are available in addition to the backpacks.
For more information, please visit the official website for the Refuge, http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/hagerman/index.html and for the Friends of Hagerman, http://www.friendsofhagerman.com.