The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will celebrate National Public Lands Day and Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day on Sept. 28 with special activities, plus free Wildlife Drive admission.
From 9:30 to 11:30, refuge staff will lead a beach clean-up of its Perry Tract area adjacent to Gulfside City Park Beach. Participants will receive a free nationwide Public Lands Pass, good for one year.
City parking fees will apply.
Those who are unable to attend can post a picture of themselves on social media cleaning up a local public land, using #NPLD. Email the photo to Toni_Westland@fws.gov to receive the free pass.
At 1 p.m., refuge staff invites the public to a free showing of the 56-minute documentary “The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida” inside of the Visitor & Education Center.
Following in the footsteps of a wandering Florida black bear, three modern-day explorers leave civilization and enter a lost wilderness on a rugged thousand-mile journey by foot, paddle and bike. Traversing Florida’s vast and seldom seen “Forgotten Coast,” the expedition encounters stunning and rare wildlife in a fragile corridor stretching from the Everglades to the Florida-Alabama border.
Premiered in 2017, the PBS documentary captures manatees, alligators, ancient river fish and endangered woodpeckers. On the wind, in the waves, through the trees, and under the stars, the film offers a chance not just to look back in time but to look forward to a future filled with new hope.
Wildlife Drive will open at 7 a.m. for free touring and will close at 7 p.m.
Narrated tram tours will run at their normal cost at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Always free, the Visitor & Education Center will open at 9 a.m.
For more information, contact refuge Ranger Monica Scroggin at 239-472-1100, ext. 237.
The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is at 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel.