Mallards on the RefugeMallards on the RefugeImage courtesy of Gary Freedman

The Refuge is Open

During this time when many places are closed and social distancing is encouraged, Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge is open for visitors to spend time outdoors on the trails. Refuge Management will continue to assess conditions and adjust operations as necessary to ensure the safety of visitors while protecting natural resources.

The public facilities, including the Visitor Center, Nature Store and outdoor restrooms, will remain closed until it is deemed safe to reopen.

December Events

Don't miss our December Open House and the Christmas Bird Count Kickoff on December 11th! See our events here

The Nature Store is Now Online

FARNWR Hats You can now shop the Nature Store online. Items are being added to our new online store every day. Get your Assabet River NWR Hats and Patches with just the click of a button. Click here or on the Store link above to start shopping!

Volunteers Needed!

We need with the following tasks, please email us if you'd like to help!

  • IT Expertise Volunteer help is needed with Microsoft Access, QuickBooks online, Square online for retail, and POS for store sales and inventory.
  • Visitor Outreach Volunteer to join in on occasional weekends and Refuge events if you are interested in helping to greet visitors, suggest hiking routes, hand out brochures and answer questions about the Refuge.
  • Friends Board Clerk Starting in January, 2022, the board will be in need of a Clerk who is interested in serving on the board to take minutes at our monthly board meetings.

Volunteer for Assabet Pulling Together

Garlic MustardGarlic MustardImage courtesy of cisma-suasco.orgGarlic Mustard starts growing in late March and will be flowering a few weeks later, so it's time to start removing invasive species from the refuge. Help us keep invasive species out of the refuge by volunteering to remove invasive species from the refuge. See here to sign up.

Guidelines When Visiting the Refuge

Please follow these guidelines when visiting the Refuge:

  • Practice safe social distancing on trails and allow 6ft when passing others on trails; follow all CDC guidelines (prevent-getting-sick).
  • Pack in and pack out: There are no trashcans on the refuge and we ask you to please take your trash with you.
  • No pets: Please leave your pets at home to protect wildlife and their habitats. Certified service animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities are permitted on trails as long as they are under the direct control of their owner at all times and all feces is removed from the site.
  • Stay on trails and out of "Closed" areas. This is to protect you and the habitat and prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • Park in designated parking areas. If parking lots are full, please continue on.
  • Please only bike along designated roads. This is for everyone's safety and to protect refuge resources.

Please Stand With Us Against the Proposed Path of High Voltage Power Lines

The power lines would clear cut an 82 foot wide strip next to the RefugeThe power lines would clear cut an 82 foot wide strip next to the RefugeImage courtesy of Protect Sudbury

We would like to make you aware of an important issue facing our Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge and to encourage you to take action.

Eversource Energy plans to build an 115 thousand volt, 70+ foot high, high-tension power line from central Sudbury to Hudson Light and Power on Forest Ave in Hudson. To do this, the company plans to cut a 7.6 mile long, 82.5 foot wide swath of woods along the old abandoned railroad tracks running through Sudbury and Hudson. Approximately 4.3 miles of the line will be in Sudbury and 4.6 miles in Hudson. These tracks are adjacent to the Refuge’s southern boundary (and run through the Desert Natural Area.)

The letter below from the president of the Friends of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge opposes this plan and urges the company to run its lines underground so as to protect the Refuge’s flora, fauna and visitor enjoyment.

FARNWR Letter to the Sudbury Conservation Commission (pdf file)

Letter to Eversource (pdf file)

Video from Protect Sudbury about the high voltage power lines:

If you would like to be heard on this issue, please see the list of emails at the end of the letter. An email from you to Eversource Energy (NSTAR) or to your government representation can make an important difference in the outcome.

Please find links to additional information below:

Help Save Blanding's Turtles

Since 2006, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has made an effort to establish a new population of Blanding's turtles (a threatened species) at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) by moving juveniles and hatchlings from Oxbow NWR.

Funding is urgently needed to help continue this conservation effort. Please consider helping fund this effort with a tax-deductible contribution to the Friends.

Hear from Jared Green on the Blanding's turtles project:

read more

About the Friends

Former Friends president Betsy Griffin received a Certificate of Special Recognition for the Friends work from Congresswoman Niki Tsongas at the Fourth Annual River Day on Sunday, September 12thFormer Friends president Betsy Griffin received a Certificate of Special Recognition for the Friends work from Congresswoman Niki Tsongas at the Fourth Annual River Day on Sunday, September 12th The Friends of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit that works with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and our local communities to meet wildlife and biological management objectives, recreational and educational goals and support diverse programs related to the Refuge.

We promote educational programs related to the Refuge and natural history of the area. We organize events and programs that help make the refuge more available to the public. We work with Refuge staff to help improve the refuge. This work also provides an opportunity for members to get to know the refuge.

read more

Help the Friends


Support Us When You Shop at Amazon

News Headlines

August 15Final Hunting and Fishing Plan for ARNWR Released. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has released a final hunting and fishing plan for the Assabet River, Great Meadows, and Oxbow National Wildlife Refuges.

August 1White Pond Road Trail - Update. The Refuge team has made progress with improvements to the White Pond Road Trail within the refuge boundary and will continue working on the trail over the next month or longer.

Upcoming Events

Saturday December 11

Christmas Bird Count Kickoff

Saturday December 11

Winter Open House

follow us on facebook

Refuge Links

Fish & Wildlife Service: Eastern Massachusetts NWR

Fish & Wildlife Service: Assabet River NWR

National Wildlife Refuge Association