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.
We have hikes, walks and talks scheduled. And don't miss our October meeting with Sarah Dykman, author of Bicycling with Butterflies. See our events here
The Nature Store is Now Online
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!
June-October, Tuesday and Saturday mornings, 9AM-11AM. Connect with the refuge by helping to maintain the Pollinator Gardens at the Visitor Center! People of all gardening abilities are welcome to participate. Join in on a regular or drop-in basis to take care of garden tasks such as weeding, mulching, and raking. Let's help the gardens thrive!
A Volunteer Service Agreement will be emailed to volunteers to read, sign and return before volunteering.
For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 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.
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:
- Protect Sudbury: www.protectsudbury.org
- Protect Hudson: www.protecthudsonma.org
- Press Coverage: www.protectsudbury.org/press-coverage/
- Eversource: www.eversource.com/
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:
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 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.
Help the Friends
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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.