Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Ethnic/Racial Minorities - General
We provide transportation, usually school buses, to schools with a high percentage of free and reduced lunch students. The schools must apply for the transportation grants and the RMANWR will provide an educational experience/field trip for the youth.
We know that if we get the students to the RMANWR, they will find something to love - and our evidence of success is that we increase the number of buses and schools that we fund every year.
Support of the USFWS volunteer program, whose members work integrally with the USFWS on assigned tasks associated with refuge operations, including:
-Volunteer Holiday Potluck
-Volunteer Appreciation Banquet.
Nature's Nest is open five days of week and is mostly staffed by volunteers. The volunteers rave about the interaction with the people visiting the RMANWR, especially the foreign visitors. Often there will be a conversation with a family from England about bison, bald eagles, and the other wonderful wildlife at the RMANWR.
Another great volunteer activity is hosting the annual July 4th celebration. Visitors at the event get to stay after dark (the Refuge usually closes at dark) and watch the fireworks from Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Refuge is the best seat in the city!
Support of ongoing USFWS community programs, including:
-Junior Duck Stamp Competition
-July 4th Wild Walk and Fireworks Viewing
-Cameras in Action
-Hiking (inside and outside the fence)
-Biking (trail outside the fence)
One of the greatest rewards of the program support is to see a youth or adult get excited about the Refuge. Seeing a ten year old take a picture of a burrowing owl or see a bison for the first time, is a great reward in itself.
Advocacy for and education about USFWS projects and refuges, including:
-Discussion with legislators of refuge programs and staffing-emphasizing benefits they provide and shortfalls that hamper current operations and future enhancements
-Participation in RMA-NWR tours to explain resources and programs
-Presentations about RMA-NWR and RFNWR to service groups and others.
Although the number of visitors at the Refuge is growing, the FFRWR would like more visitors from Colorado. As part of the Next Generation Partners program of SCRGP, we took youth to the Refuge to learn about careers in natural resources. Several of the youth did not know that one can have a career in biology where you can study bison and eagle and more! It was exciting to see local youth have their eyes opened to greater possibilities. More youth deserve this type of expose to new and different careers.