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Celebrate Earth Day 2013! Take to the Trails for a Week of Free Guided Walks at Wildlife Refuges Across Rhode Island

Explore those wild places around Rhode Island that are only accessible by foot! Audubon is offering a weeklong schedule (April 14 – 22, 2013) of FREE guided walks at wildlife refuges across the state and in nearby Massachusetts. There are programs to suit all ages, interests, and capabilities. It’s a fun, free celebration of planet Earth.

Explore those wild places around Rhode Island that are only accessible by foot! Audubon is offering a weeklong schedule (April 14 — 22, 2013) of FREE guided walks at wildlife refuges across the state and in nearby Massachusetts. There are programs to suit all ages, interests, and capabilities. It’s a fun, free celebration of planet Earth.Family walking on path holding hands smiling

It’s back! Travel across the state and explore Audubon wildlife refuges with the Audubon 2013 Passport to the Trails.  This very popular program (introduced in 2011) is being brought back due to participant request. 2013 Audubon Passport photo-1Just visit the Audubon Environmental Education Center in Bristol or Powder Mill Ledges Nature Shop in Smithfield to receive your free passport. They will also be available at all Earth Day and school vacation week hikes and programs. Head out with your passport, visit Audubon wildlife refuges, and discover the varied habitats and creatures that call Rhode Island home. Along the way, you will be directed to a “hidden” stencil template at each refuge.  Make a crayon or pencil rubbing at each destination and return the completed passport to Audubon by September 30, 2013 for a reward and the opportunity to be entered into grand prize raffle. For more details, visit www.asri.org.

Enjoy nature photography? Snap images of landscapes, birds, creatures or people interacting with nature on any of Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s wildlife refuges that are open to the public. Submit your favorite photographs (maximum of three) by September 30, 2013 for entry into the Audubon 2013 Earth Day Photo Contest. A panel of qualified judges will choose the winning photographs. For complete details, visit www.asri.org.

Please see below for a complete schedule and descriptions of free guided walks…and remember to bring along your passport and camera!

Audubon Society of Rhode Island Earth Day 2013: April 14 – 22
All programs are free of charge, but pre-registration is strongly recommended. For additional details and to register, visit www.asri.org.

  • Seaside Adventure (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 14, 2013; 2:30-4:00 pm;
    Comb the shore in search of crabs, snails, sea stars, fish and even worms. Bring along some water shoes and wear clothes that can get wet.
    Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI; Ages: All.
  • Salamander Search — Two Times Available (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 15, 2013; 10:00-11:30 am and 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
    Looking for something enjoyable to do outdoors with the kids during the school vacation? Bring the family to the Fisherville Brook Wildlife Refuge for a morning or afternoon of educational activities and search for salamanders and frogs with an Audubon naturalist. Every child will have an opportunity to view and study the amphibians. Pre-registration is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Nature Center.
    Fisherville Brook Wildlife Refuge, 99 Pardon Joslin Road, Exeter, RI; Ages: 5+.
  • Forest Awakening — Two Times Offered (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 16, 2013; 10:00 am-12:30 pm and 2:00-4:30 pm

    April is a great time to be out in Rhode Island’s forests as plants and animals are gearing up for warmer weather. Spring flowers are in bloom and vernal pools are full of frogs at the Maxwell Mays Wildlife Refuge in Coventry. Join Audubon on this free hike at the Mays Refuge in honor of Earth Day. We will explore comfortable trails with gentle slopes through several habitats. Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate layers of clothing. Please bring a bottle of water.
    Maxwell Mays Wildlife Refuge, 2082 Victory Highway, Coventry, RI. Ages: All.
  • Salt Marsh of Tiverton (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 17, 2013; 10:00-11:30 am
    The salt marsh at the Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Refuge is a fragile coastal habitat full of unique species. Enjoy a guided walk through this beautiful coastal location.
    Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Refuge, Seapowet Avenue, Tiverton, RI; Ages: 5+.
  • Night Hike at Powder Mill Ledges (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 18, 2013; 7:00-8:30 pm
    Join Audubon for an exploration of the Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge in the evening. Listen to the night chorus of frogs or even owls. Test your night vision and check out all the cool things that happen in nature once we all go to bed. Bundle up, bring a flashlight, and wear good, sturdy hiking shoes/boots.
    Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge, 12 Sanderson Road, Smithfield, RI; Ages: 7+.
  • High Peaks of Long Pond (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 18, 2013; 10:00 am-12:00 pm
    Join Audubon for a pleasant but occasionally heart-pumping hike in the rugged terrain of Long Pond Woods. In addition to ascending to the breathtaking summit above Long Pond, we will look for native plants and animals and explore unique habitats such as rock outcrops and thickets of mountain laurel. Bring a camera, binoculars, water and wear sturdy waterproof shoes, long pants, and a hat.
    Long Pond Woods, North Road, Hopkinton, RI; Ages: 5+.
  • Family Birding Walk (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 19, 2013; 10:00-11:00 am
    Would you like to learn all about birds and the healthy hobby of birding? During this hike we will look for the most common birds found in our area, learn how to tell them apart, and the best way to use binoculars. Mini- activities along the hike will include singing like a bird the art of birding by ear, a bird scavenger hunt and a closer look at feather. Bring your own binoculars; some will be available to borrow.
    Caratunk Wildlife Refuge, 301 Brown Avenue, Seekonk, MA; Ages: All.
  • Spring Beacons (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 20, 2013; 10:00-12:00 pm
    Discover the spring wildflowers that are emerging in the Turkey Meadow Brook flood plain, the trees in bloom, and the birds that are setting up their territories! Wear sturdy shoes and bring binoculars on this moderately challenging walk. Note that the hikers will encounter steep elevations that may be challenging for young children.
    Parker Woodland Wildlife Refuge, Maple Valley Road, Coventry, RI; Ages: 8+.
  • Touisset Family Walk (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 21, 2013; 9:30-11:00 am 
    This beautiful coastal property boasts a lush salt marsh, grassy meadows, and a diverse forest.  Join Audubon and explore the many habitats of this amazing wildlife refuge.
    Touisset Marsh Wildlife Refuge, Touisset Road, Warren, RI; Ages: All.
  • The Wild Side of Southern Rhode Island (Free Earth Week Program)
    April 22, 2013; 10:00 am-12:00 pm
    Tucked away in a quiet spot in southern Rhode Island is the first property that Audubon acquired for conservation. Join Audubon for a pleasant spring stroll and explore the rolling terrain of the Kimball Wildlife Refuge in Charlestown. Look for native plants and animals and discover unique features such as kettle ponds, rock walls, and woodland thickets. This is a special opportunity to explore as spring flowers emerge, songbirds return to nest, and frogs call to mates. Bring water and wear sturdy waterproof shoes and appropriate layers of clothing.
    Kimball Wildlife Refuge, 180 Sanctuary Road, Charlestown, RI; Ages: All.
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