Our fourth annual Friends & Volunteer Luncheon held on
March 29th was a real treat. We had 49 in attendance and
as usual, the camaraderie and friendship were great.
Several members received recognition and 14 received the
new Noxubee NWR Volunteer T-shirt by accumulating more
than 50 volunteer hours. The big achievers this year were
Bob Fye and Marion Sansing who earned America the
Beautiful Passes for volunteering 500 hours or more for 2007.
A special thank you is in order for Glenn Bryant and
Susan Brooks who attended the National Friends Conference
in Shepherdstown, West Virginia on April 5-6 and visited our
legislators on Capitol Hill on April 7th. They were not all
alone; as nearly 150 “Friends Group” volunteers supporting
more than 108 refuges in 37 states across the country visited
Capitol Hill that day.
This type of support really paid off for additional funding in 2008. It is my hope that this trend
will continue due to such dedicated local and national support from friends’ group members.
The culmination of many of our friends’ hard work over the last year came together on April
25th, with the dedication of the Dr. Ray Watson Memorial Trail. Louise Watson, her daughter
Jennifer Rogers, and around sixty friends and colleagues attended the event. A special
thanks goes to our speakers Dr. Frank Bonner and Sherrie Wiygul. The trail is beautiful and a
fitting tribute to Dr. Ray Watson’s memory.
Friends and volunteers have also been busy with the ever popular Saturdays on the Refuge
Program. Events such as the blue-bird workshops, the Private Eye, and Ladies Bait Your
Hook, have turned out many new faces to Noxubee.
Work also continued in the native plant garden with several hundred new plants added on
two planting days, one in April and one in May. Great work completed by those of you who
participated. Thank you!
The paving contract for roadwork on the Noxubee County portion of the refuge, from Morgan
Hill Prairie out to Lynne Creek Road, has been let. We should see a lot of work completed on
this project during the summer.
Additionally, work on the Loakfoma Lake Rehabilitation Project is again underway, and
hopefully with a little help from Mother Nature, we can get the dirt work completed this
summer and begin re-watering the lake in the fall.
This summer we have hired five Youth Conservation Corps students, one YCC crew leader,
two Summer STEP employees, and have also picked up one new public-use intern. So you
may see a lot of new “young faces” around the Refuge.
I hope to see you all soon, enjoying your Refuge!