The Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge have received the U. S. Fish and Wildlife's first Southwest Region's Friends Award. Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director for the Southwest Region, recognized the Friends for their significant contribution to environmental education and outreach benefiting Hagerman NWR, and said "At a time when partnerships are paramount, organizations like the Friends of Hagerman are one of the most important allies in the National Wildlife Refuge System's conservation effort."
The all-volunteer organization was recognized for significant accomplishments in the past year including:
- Providing environmental education programs for more that 1000 children and 400 adults.
- Conducting free tram tours at the Refuge giving visitors an opportunity to see and identify wildlife.
- Aiding in the establishment of Bluestem Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists.
- Managing the Nature Nook book and gift shop in the Visitor Center, with proceeds going to refuge activities and projects.
- Staffing the Visitor Center year around with volunteers.
- Hosting a Nature Photography Club which offers numerous programs and opportunities for photographers.
- Creating BirdFest Texoma, set for May 3 -5, 2013.
The Friends of Hagerman are just one of several Friends organizations established to support the 22 national wildlife refuges of the Southwest Region, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.
All Friends members and those interested in membership are invited to celebrate these achievements and to learn more about the Friends of Hagerman at the Annual Meeting set for 10 am, Saturday,March 23, in the Audio/Visual Classroom, FOH Center, at the Refuge.