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Mark the upcoming national days with refuge, TBE

By Staff | Sep 23, 2020

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel has come up with three ways to mark National Public Lands Day on Sept. 26 and Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day on Sept. 29.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands.

Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day is the date designated by the Secretary of the Interior to recognize the importance of urban national wildlife refuges in enriching American lives and their communities.

On Sept. 26, refuge visitors can enjoy Wildlife Drive — for free — from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Print out a scavenger hunt before you go and be on the lookout for local wildlife. Scavenger hunt is available at www.dingdarlingsociety.org .

People can support the refuge Nature Store by shopping online at ShopDingDarling.com.

Curbside pickup is available from Monday through Friday for purchases.

In addition, Tarpon Bay Explorers is offering a 25 percent discount throughout September to Lee, Charlotte and Collier county residents for several of its rentals and tours. The discount apples to rentals of kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and bicycles, as well as its kayak tours, boat tours and SUP tours.

Paddle a kayak through the mangrove tunnels of the Commodore Creek. Ride a bicycle on Wildlife Drive through the heart of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Keep an eye out for dolphins and manatees on a paddleboard, or fish from a pontoon boat in the refuge back-bay waters.

TBE also has new Hobie fishing kayak rentals for the avid angler.

Hone in on local flora and fauna with a guided tour, lead by a knowledgeable naturalist.

Kayak, canoe, paddleboard and bicycle rentals are first come, first served from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hobie fishing kayaks and pontoon rentals require a reservation. Reservations are recommended for tours.

Identification is required to verify residency for discount.

Locals can also launch their own watercraft from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a small park and launch fee.

At 900 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel, TBE is the recreation concession to the refuge.

For additional information, contact 239-472-8900 or visit www.tarponbayexplorers.com.

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is at 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel.