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Sanibel refuge to celebrate Earth Day with free activities

By REFUGE / DDWS - | Apr 16, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Artist-in-Residence Rachel Pierce paints birds plein air along Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Paint your own roseate spoonbill canvas along with Pierce on April 22.

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is throwing a free “Earth Day at the Refuge” celebration on April 22. It will feature no-fee admission to Wildlife Drive for cyclists and hikers, free guided tours, paint-alongs, and on-your-own activities.

In compliance with pandemic protocols, staff will carefully curate the event for participant safety. Guides will lead five free tours, limited to 10 participants each. Two painting sessions with this year’s refuge Artist-in-Residence Rachel Pierce are also limited to 10. The schedule is as follows:

– 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Free admission to Wildlife Drive for cyclists and hikers; cost is $10 for vehicles

– 8 a.m.: Mindfulness Walk at the Bailey Tract

– 8:30 a.m.: Birding the Refuge Caravan Tour

PHOTO PROVIDED The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will debut a new Junior Ranger program on April 22.

– 9:30 a.m.: Biking the Refuge Tour

– 10 a.m.: Paint a Roseate Spoonbill with Artist-in-Residence Rachel Pierce

– 11:30 a.m.: Paint a Roseate Spoonbill with Artist-in-Residence Rachel Pierce

– 1 p.m.: Junior Ranger Walk

– 2 p.m.: Bailey Tract Walk

– Ongoing outdoors: New Junior Ranger Booklet debut; complete it day of and receive a gift.

– Ongoing outdoors: Pick up a compostable bag to fill with trash and return for a commemorative postcard.

To pre-register for the activities, visit dingdarling.eventbrite.com.

Participants in any of the tours, paint-a-longs and trash-collecting will receive a 10 percent discount coupon for use at the flagship Refuge Nature Store location in the refuge’s Visitor & Education Center or the Nature Store2, at 2250 Periwinkle Place, Sanibel. Coupons are not valid for online store use.

The refuge is celebrating Earth Day in partnership with the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge and Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s recreational concession.

For more information, call 239-472-1100 ext. 237 or visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/events.