Legacy Projects

Legacy Projects

These legacy projects were accomplished through a partnership between Wild Birds Unlimited stores and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to fund environmental education and wildlife viewing projects. We encourage all of our customers to visit these incredible places. Your patronage helped make these projects possible!

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge - Socorro, NM

Project: Web Cam Monitor and Kiosk
The visitor center will include a Web cam people can use to view wildlife at select sites throughout the refuge. Oasis cam is positioned to show the watering hole at the visitor’s center. Grebe cam is placed at the south end of the marsh loop. Marsh cam is situated for duck, crane and eagle viewing. Crane cam is located on the farm loop to view Sandhill Cranes. Mobile cam is used throughout to bring the hidden Bosque into view.

In addition, Pathways To Nature donated birdfeeders to the refuge and established a binocular-lending program.

Grant
$25,000 plus $25,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
Each autumn tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Arctic geese and ducks make the refuge their winter home.

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The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve - Hereford, AZ

Project: Pollinator Education Initiative
The Pollinator Education Initiative includes a garden planted with native plants to attract butterflies and up to 14 different species of hummingbirds. Hummingbirds and butterflies represent the rich biodiversity of animal pollinators found in Arizona. Some others include bees, wasps, beetles, flies, moths and bats.

Grant
$31,000 plus $31,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
This area boasts the highest number of hummingbird species of anywhere in the United States.

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Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges - Tulelake, CA

Project: Observation Platform and Blind
The observation platform and blind at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge gives visitors the opportunity to view and photograph up to 40 species including: Western and Clark’s Grebes, American and White Pelican, Greater White-fronted Goose, Gadwall, American Avocet, Bonaparte’s Gull and Caspian Tern.

Grant
$22,100 plus $22,100 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
Farmers lease nearly half the refuge acreage through a federal program that allows them to grow wheat and potatoes. The crop waste helps provide food for migrating and wintering waterfowl.

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Virginia Living Museum - Newport News, VA

Project: Aviary Viewing Platform
The aviaries of the Virginia Living Museum include 3,100 square feet of natural wetlands incorporating a forest and lake. A raised boardwalk and aviary-viewing platform with educational markers provide visitors with information about animals that live in the wetlands.

Grant
$25,000 plus $25,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
When completed, the indoor songbird aviary and outdoor wetlands aviary will house one of America’s largest collections of native birds — including 30 species.

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Rocky Mountain Arsenal - Denver, CO

Project: Educational Kiosk and Activity Table
The educational kiosk will provide information about the area’s flora and fauna. The activity tables will give children the opportunity to learn more about some of the highlighted species. Children can use booklets to create rubbings at the activity tables The arsenal will become the largest urban national wildlife refuge upon completion of the final environmental cleanup program.

Grant
$25,000 plus $25,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
This site, which was used during World War II to manufacture chemical weapons, is situated along one of the North American flyways and is a perfect place to view migration’s marvels.

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Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology - Ithaca, NY

Project: Outdoor Information Kiosk
This kiosk will include a trail map at the entryway to the new headquarters of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. The map will provide visitors with a guide to the more than four miles of trails through the 220-acre Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary. The kiosk will also feature trail maps and a bird checklist for the sanctuary.

Grant
$25,000 plus $25,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
Bird enthusiasts from around the world visit the Lab headquarters nestled in Sapsucker Woods, a sanctuary that serves as nesting grounds and migratory roosting areas for many bird species.

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Point Pelee National Park - Leamington, Ontario, CA

Project: Discovery of Point Pelee Exhibit
The focal point of this exhibit is a 10-square-meter diorama of a Carolinian forest. The diorama represents Point Pelee’s original natural forest habitat and includes trees, herbaceous groundcover, and native flowers and wildlife. Visitors can learn about the area’s unique natural environment and the importance of its restoration and preservation.

Grant
$25,000 (U.S.) plus $25,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
This area is a major migratory stopover point in North America and is internationally recognized for its resident and migrant bird life, including Hooded, Kentucky, Worm-eating and Northern Parula warblers.

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Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge - McAllen, TX

Project: Observation Platform
This observation platform is an ideal spot for area visitors to watch migrating shore birds in one of the most popular birding sites in North America. Visitors can see a variety of birds including osprey, Broadwing Hawk, Northern Harrier and Peregrine Falcon as well as spot South Texas specialties such as Green Kingfisher and Least Grebe. Spring warblers are abundant, with more than 35 species, including Golden-winged, Magnolia, Northern, Palm and Tropical Parula warblers, American Redstart and Yellow-breasted Chat.

“I suspect that over the coming years, there will be more life birds checked off on that deck than anywhere else on the refuge, or just about any other single spot in the country for that matter.”
– Jeff Howland, Manager, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

Grant
$25,000 plus $25,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
This refuge is home to nearly 400 types of birds and many other species including the Indigo snake, Malachite butterfly and the endangered ocelot.

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National Audubon Society’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - Naples, FL

Project: Canopy Forest Exhibit
This exhibit will give people an opportunity to see life in a canopy forest. The swamp is one of the largest nesting sites for endangered Wood Storks. These birds take advantage of the diverse life forms in the southern canopy of the swamp.

Grant
$30,000 plus $30,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
The sanctuary’s boardwalk winds its way through the largest remaining stand of ancient Bald Cypress forests in the world. Many of the trees date back 600 years.

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San Bernardino National Forest Big Bear Discovery Center - San Bernardino, CA

Project: Discovery Center Eagle and Wildlife Exhibit
The Eagle and Wildlife exhibit at the Big Bear Discovery Center interprets the natural history and culture of the San Bernardino National Forest in California with a focus on eagles and wildlife. The exhibit rotates with the seasons incorporating eagles, flowers, pioneers and native people.

Grant
$17,400 plus $17,400 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
The national forest is one of the few places in the area suitable for Bald Eagle nesting.

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Friends of West Tennessee National Wildlife Refuges, Inc. - Ripley and Union City, TN

Project: Window To Birds Viewing Platforms
This grant funds the construction of viewing platforms and interpretive signs at Chickasaw and Lake Isom wildlife refuges. Both areas are part of the Western Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in the western part of the state and lie in the heart of the Mississippi flyway. The new wildlife viewing areas increase the opportunities for bird observation, environmental education and nature interpretation.

Grant
$19,000 plus $19,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
More than 250 bird species, many of them waterfowl, use this area as a stopover site during migration.

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Point Reyes Bird Observatory - Stinson Beach, CA

Project: Visitor Center Expansion
The Point Reyes Bird Observatory Visitor Center expansion increases the information available to the public about birds, conservation efforts and interpretive programs. The observatory works year-round with students and the public to enhance their understanding of bird and wildlife conservation efforts in the hope of inspiring new generations to be effective stewards of the environment. Its scientists conduct research on birds and the area’s ecosystems with an eye toward protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of the area.

Grant
$30,000 plus $30,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
The observatory, founded in 1965 as the first organization of its kind in the United States, has grown to become an internationally recognized conservation science organization.

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Hawk Mountain Sanctuary - Kempton, PA

Project: Wings of Wonder Display
The Wings of Wonder display includes life-sized wooden models of 16 species of birds of prey. The birds hang down over the gallery in the visitor center and appear as they would during migration.

In addition, Pathways To Nature donated bird feeders and binoculars to Hawk Mountain.

Grant
$15,000 plus $15,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
The 2,400-acre Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was established in 1934 as the world’s first refuge for raptors. It has evolved into an international center for raptor conservation, education and research.

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Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge - Rock Hall, MD

Project: Tundra Swan Observation Platform
The new observation platform will give visitors to Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge an opportunity to view Tundra Swans as they migrate through the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland’s eastern shore. The refuge is a 2,285-acre island at the confluence of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Grant
$8,500 plus $8,500 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
Eastern Neck provides a habitat for more than 230 species of birds including the Bald Eagle and numerous other mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

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Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge - Sebastian, FL

Project: Wildlife Viewing Platform and Interpretation
Visitors using the new wildlife viewing platform will have the opportunity to observe the more than 30 species of birds that use the area as a rookery, roost and feeding area. In addition 16 species of birds nest at the refuges. The objective of the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is to protect the historic rookery and to provide habitat for migrating birds and threatened and endangered species.

Grant
$19,500 plus $19,500 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1903 as the first National Wildlife Refuge in the United States.

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Hoover Reservoir - Galena, OH

Project: Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk and Platform
This new boardwalk and platform, located in the 4,000 acres of the Hoover Reservoir, will provide birding access in an area where none had existed. Visitors can view the north end of the reservoir from the boardwalk and have an opportunity to see waterfowl and shore birds.

Grant
$12,500 plus $12,500 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
The area is designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society because the exposed mudflats provide vital feeding and resting habitats for birds.

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Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary’s Joppa Flats - Newburyport, MA

Project: Education Center & Wildlife Sanctuary Exhibit & Map
A series of conservation themed exhibits at the new Joppa Flats Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary will help educate visitors about the Plum Island/Merrimack estuary environs and ecosystems. Visitors will enjoy amazing views of the newly restored salt marsh and the Merrimack River estuary from the sanctuary.

Grant
$12,500 plus $12,500 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
The Joppa Flats Wildlife Sanctuary is at the gateway to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and Plum Island and is world-renowned as one of the country’s top year round birding spots.

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Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge - Bascom, NY

Project: Swallow Hollow Nature Trail
The 1.3 mile trail traverses through diverse habitat including forested wetland, cattail marsh and dry hemlock knolls. The Swallow Hollow trail offers visitors an opportunity to observe hard to find bird species, gain appreciation of the importance of wildlife habitat conservation and an opportunity to learn about ecosystems normally inaccessible to visitors.

Grant
$40,000 plus $40,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
Swallow Hollow is home to migratory and resident bird species such as Pied-billed Grebe, Cerulean Warbler, Acadian Flycatcher, Virginia Rail, Northern Shrike and Barred Owl.

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San Jacinto Battleground - LaPorte, TX

Project: San Jacinto Interpretive Trail
The native prairie, tidal marsh and bottomland forests of San Jacinto Battleground are some of the last remaining examples of these habitats in the area. The trail winds through a prairie, extends to the edge of the marsh that allows visitors to experience the tidal marsh, crossing both dense marsh vegetation and the open water of the tidal channel.

Grant
$60,000 plus $60,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
The 1,200-acre site commemorates the Battle and to preserve the Battleground on which Texan troops under General Sam Houston achieved the independence of Texas by defeating a Mexican Army led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna on
April 21, 1836.

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The National Arbor Day Foundation - Lincoln, NE

Project: Tree House Trail Interpretive Site
Exhibits along the Tree House Trail immerse visitors in the sights, sounds, and fragrances of the forest. View tubes direct the eye to “oddities” of nature…small wonders of the natural world often overlooked. Listening stations bring the sounds of the forest close by. A special bird exhibit allows visitors to hear the call of birds common to Arbor Day Farm and then offers an opportunity to imitate the call and hear the attempt through a recorded playback system.

Grant
$8,000 plus $8,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
Arbor Day Farm was once the agricultural estate of Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton. Along with many of the original barns, buildings, and orchards, the farm now includes a working apple processing operation, and is home to over 170 species of birds, white-tailed deer, bobcat, raccoon, opossum, muskrat, mink, red fox, and numerous other mammals.

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Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - Titusville, FL

Project: Project: Black Point Drive Enhancement Project
This project enhances birding opportunities for thousands of visitors to Merritt Island NWR while preserving the integrity of the natural habitat for wildlife. The new walking trail allows visitors to walk on dike roads to blinds to observe and photograph wildlife. The handicapped accessible observation platform allows equal access for wildlife viewing for all visitors. New educational signage shares the stories of the refuge and its inhabitants.

Grant
$50,000 plus $50,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
This refuge manages habitat for over 500 species of wildlife, including 21 federal and state listed threatened and endangered species, which is more than any other National Wildlife Refuge in the United States.

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Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge - Cambridge, MD

Project: Blackwater NWR Visitor Center Wildlife Observatory Project
The Blackwater Observatory, located on the second story of the Visitor Center includes an outdoor observation deck, and indoor glass-walled viewing room, interpretive displays, identification guides and spotting scopes. The Observatory is handicapped accessible and allows equal access for wildlife viewing for all visitors.

Grant
$100,000 plus $100,000 in local matching funds.

Noteworthy
This refuge manages habitat for over 500 species of wildlife, including 21 federal and state listed threatened and endangered species, which is more than any other National Wildlife Refuge in the United States.

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