Thursday, February 27, 2014

Welcome to the Visitor Center

Did you ever stop to think about the hours that the Visitor Center is open?  We understand that many years ago the Visitor Center at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge had been manned by volunteers on weekends, but somewhere along the way that effort ended.  Then, in 2004 then Refuge Manager Johnny Beall held a meeting to recruit volunteers for starting up again.  The new weekend hours were 9 am – Noon on Saturdays and 1 - 4 pm on Sundays.
Volunteers hoisted the OPEN flag each weekend at the old Visitor Center.
This schedule continued until early in 2009, when the Saturday hours were extended – 9 am – 3 pm.  Sunday hours remained the same at that time.

The Temporary Refuge Office was open on weekends, thanks to volunteers, during construction of the new Visitor Center/ Refuge Office
Now, fast forward to September, 2011 and the opening of the new Visitor Center and Refuge Office.  Volunteers not only manned the new Visitor Center on weekends, but the weekend hours were extended, becoming 9 am – 4pm on Saturdays, and 1 – 5 pm on Sundays.

2011 - Brand new Visitor Center/Refuge Office; photo by Ken Day
AND – volunteers started the Nature Nook book and gift shop also, with weekday hours - Monday through Friday, from 10 am – 3 pm.  The Visitor Center and Nature Nook has remained open year around since except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, “iced-in days” and during the government shutdown.*

SOON – volunteers will be there to serve visitors and assist the staff even longer hours during the week, from 9 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday, beginning on March 10.

This would not be possible without the large team of over 50 individuals - friendly and capable volunteers who agree to work one or more shifts each month at the Refuge.  These folks prepare by becoming familiar Refuge rules and regulations, location of points on the Refuge of interest to visitors, Refuge history and more.  In addition they become proficient in the sales process and operating the gift shop.

Please remember to give the volunteers on duty at the time of your next visit special thanks, and if you would like to join their ranks, contact us  and we will add you to the list for the next Volunteer Orientation and Training event.

*The Nature Nook will be closed for inventory on Friday, February 28; the Visitor Center will be open usual hours.

1 comment:

  1. This Saturday, March 1, should be lovely, a perfect day for Youth First. We plan for part of our activity to be outdoors so wear appropriate shoes and jackets if it is chilly in the morning. Maybe even eat a carrot or two are we will need sharp eyes to detect who lives in the bark of trees.