NFWF Announces More Than $156,900 in Grants to National Wildlife Refuge Friends Organizations

WASHINGTON, DC (October 13, 2016) — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced more than $156,900 in grants to 19 National Wildlife Refuge Friends organizations across the country to support on-the-ground projects and peer-to-peer conferences within the refuge system. Grant recipients will provide over $350,000 in match for a total conservation impact of $495,800.

The grants were awarded through the National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant Program, a collaborative effort between NFWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Enbridge, and the National Wildlife Refuge Association. The program provides competitive grants that enable Friends organizations to develop and implement conservation projects, strengthen organizational capacity and skills, meet local refuge challenges, and build community recognition and support.

“Friends organizations are an important element of the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “This program provides support for these organizations to grow and to continue offering valuable support to refuges across the country.”

“Enbridge recognizes natural resources and green space as precious assets to every community and we’re proud to help steward these resources,” said Brad Shamla, vice president of U.S. Operations at Enbridge. “Our partnership with the National Wildlife Refuge Friends further demonstrates our commitment to conservation and environmental issues in specific communities throughout the United States.”

There are now more than 230 Friends organizations supporting National Wildlife Refuges, with new organizations created each year. Friends organizations, along with other volunteers, accomplish much of the outreach, support and conservation work across the refuge system.

“The value of the Friends grant program cannot be overstated,” said Joanna Webb, National Friends and Partnership Coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service. “These grants allow Friends to gain valuable experience in applying for and managing grant funding, get boots on the ground doing important conservation work, and focus on building nonprofit organizations and strengthening partnerships across the country – all the while strengthening the National Wildlife Refuge System.”

The 2016 grantees include:

Friends of Camas National Wildlife Refuge (ID) will install a pollinator garden to benefit monarch butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other insects. Project will increase the capacity of Friends of Camas National Wildlife Refuge through collaboration, community organization and the creation of a pollinator garden.

Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (MN) will begin a strategic planning process to refine their organization’s vision, mission and values.

Friends of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge (MA) will establish a pollinator habitat garden at the Bill Ashe visitor facility.

Friends of Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge (TX) will enhance bird viewing opportunities on the Caddo Lake National Wildlife refuge, which is located where the Mississippi Flyway meets the Central Flyway. Project will provide visitors with an educational and enjoyable birding experience.

Ding Darling Wildlife Society (FL) will host a peer-to-peer workshop conference. Planned workshop topics will include building and enhancing community partnerships, grant writing, understanding partnerships, maximizing social media presence and volunteer development.

Friends of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (AZ) will implement a website redesign to improve membership and visitor use and create a more timely, informative format.

Friends of Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge (ID) will restore native sagebrush steppe vegetation on a 3-acre plot near the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge visitor center.

Rappahannock Wildlife Refuge Friends Group (VA) will add an interactive piece to their current Water Trail phone app to increase visitor and community engagement with the National Wildlife Refuge. Project will provide links to give the user a more in-depth experience and will enable users to share their experiences in real time as well as upload pictures and video.

Friends of The San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge (CA) will create a two-year strategic plan that will be used to identify short- and long-term goals, including how to increase visibility in communities and effectiveness in supporting the refuge.

Friends of Noxubee Refuge (MS) will integrate activities and resources of the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Refuge through the enhancement of internet presence. Project will allow refuge video to be broadcasted to a wider audience and enhance visitor interactive experiences.

Friends of National Conservation Training Center (WV) will provide scholarships to National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) volunteers to take appropriate training courses at the National Conservation Training Center. These courses will allow capacity building in a peer-to-peer setting for NWRS Friends groups through relevant training and will include organization-building, leadership, social media, communications, connecting people with nature, nature interpretation and grant-writing.

Friends of Amigos de la Sevilleta (NM) will implement a graphic redesign project to increase capacity and provide a bilingual resource to visitors. Project will help convey the expanse and biodiversity of the refuge, and will provide bilingual brochures and rack card for visitors.

International Wildlife Refuge Alliance (MI) will provide educational materials through a nature store that will enhance the educational, interpretive and conservation mission of the refuge.

Friends of Maine Coastal Islands (ME) will hire a contractor to produce high-quality advertising, implement a website overhaul, and increase social media presence.

Friends of the St. Croix Wetland Management District (WI) will increase their organization’s capacity by restructuring elements and increasing exposure. Project will advance the district’s mission to restore historic wetlands, prairies and oak savanna habitat.

Friends of Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (ME) will increase their organization’s capacity by engaging Friend’s member and volunteer opportunities with trail maintenance and other work on the Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

Friends of the Wildlife Corridor (TX) will help support refuge efforts by providing signage as an outreach activity to educate the public on the importance of native plants, on the advantage of specific native plants as landscaping options, and on the work being done by the refuge to help restore native habitat in the region.

Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge (TN) will provide a safe trail close to the visitor center for outdoor education opportunities to the general public. Project will use the trail during environmental education classes for school groups to improve experiences and boost activity level.

The Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge (NM) will host a weekend workshop for board members and volunteers of more than 20 Friends organizations from Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arizona.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation’s wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at