Refuge Volunteer Newsletter

Hello dedicated Friends and Volunteers,

I hope everyone had a spooky, fun filled Halloween. Fall is in full flow, which at the refuge means colorful landscapes, crisp mornings, migrating birds, and hunting season.Â
As you enjoy your cozy sweaters and warm mugs of tea, we thank you for your time and interest in volunteering with us. Please read our newsletter for more information about past and upcoming events, as well as a variety of other updates and volunteer opportunities.
Thanks, and I hope to see you soon at the refuge!
P.S. Let me know if you are no longer interested in receiving this monthly newsletter.


Volunteer Newsletter
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
November 2018

Local superheroes learning about reptiles at Creepy Critter Encounters.
Photo ProImage Photography
Volunteers Especially Needed For:
Afternoon Visitor Counting (Schedule flexible, 6 times/month). Help track Refuge visitation by driving around the lake in a Refuge vehicle. You can take time to watch wildlife along the way!
Nature Explorers (December 27th) Help preschoolers use their natural curiosity to investigate nature. Typically on the fourth Thursday of each month.

See High Priority Opportunities below for more information.Â

What’s New?
Fall weather has certainly arrived. It is a good time for bird watching, nature photography, and hunting. The lake’s shoreline is a tapestry of fall colors. Visit soon to wander through the leaves and enjoy the fall air before it is too late! Chances are, you just might see some amazing wildlife migrating and getting ready for the winter season. When you do visit, be aware of hunters on the refuge, and to our hunters – have a safe hunt!

Also, FYI, it’s time to clean the carpets, so the Visitor Center will be closed on Saturday, November 10.

Thank you to our many Creepy Critters volunteers! Over 450 people attended, some dressed in costume, and had a thrilling time learning about creepy critters! Many thanks as well to our partners: AmeriCorps, College of Western Idaho, the Bureau of Land Management, Friends of Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge, Nampa Public Library, and the University of Idaho for making this event great!

The Discover Wildlife Journeys field trip was also a success thanks to our amazing volunteers, Carolyn, Linda, Steve, Emily, Cathy, Sue, and Andy! Thank you for doing what you do!

Fourth grader watching birds during the Discover Wildlife Journeys field trip.
Photo Saskia van Adrichem/USFWS

Around the Water Cooler

The Refuge said goodbye to our resident RV volunteers on October 31st. Sue and Andy have volunteered since August, helping educate local children and supporting us in our many programs. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers, so a big thank you to them!
Sue and Andy leading preschoolers during October’s Nature Explorers program.
Photos Susan Kain/USFWS.
Friends of Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge

The Friends of Deer Flat is a non-profit organization that supports Refuge activities like field trip bus scholarships and restoration projects. Tax-deductible memberships start at $10. Or consider an extra donation to support your favorite Friends’ programs! for more info.Â

A special thank you to the Friends for helping make Creepy Critters spectacular by providing candy, cookies (donated by Wal-Mart), and cider for attendees; pizza for volunteers (discount provided by Domino’s Pizza); decorative pumpkins (donated by Wissel Farms), and so much more!

A volunteer teaches children about African millipedes at Creepy Critter Encounters. Photo ProImage Photography.
Upcoming Events
Unless otherwise noted, events take place at the Visitor Center.
SIBA Field Trip—November 10th, 8am-5pm. The Southwestern Idaho Birders Association is hosting a field trip to look for early winter birds of Valley County. They will meet at the Chevron Parking Lot in Horseshoe Bend. For more info or to RSVP, contact David Potter at (208) 365-8380 or
Nature Explorers—December 27th, 10:30 am. Preschoolers are invited to use their natural curiosity and participate in guided nature explorations each month. 3-5 year olds should bring a parent and be prepared to be outside and get a little dirty. This is a free event that happens rain or shine. (Not held in November due to Thanksgiving.)  
High Priority Volunteer Opportunities!
Think you might not have the skills needed to help? Don’t worry! Training is provided.

Afternoon Visitor Counting (noon to 4pm, 4 weekdays and 2 weekends per month). Fill brochure boxes and count Refuge visitors by driving around the lake in a Refuge vehicle. (You can wildlife watch along the way!) Data is used to estimate total Refuge visitation.

Nature Explorers Leaders(December 27th) Help preschoolers use
their natural curiosity to investigate nature. Need leads and helpers.Typically on the fourth Thursday of each month, but there will be no November program as it conflicts with Thanksgiving.

Archimedes the great horned owl (and friend) from the BLM Birds of Prey National Conservation Area at Creepy Critter Encounters. Photo ProImage Photography

Other Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
Visitor Center Host— Saturdays 10-4pm or weekdays. Do you like wildlife and people? Then visitor center hosting may be for you. Greet visitors, answer the phone, and help with various office projects. Saturday hosts must be willing to undergo a background check and commit to a year of service—whether once a month or once a quarter. Maybe interested but have questions? Please ask!

Outreach Booth Lead—Come out and enjoy some fun local events by taking the lead to staff a Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge outreach booth. Volunteers will share information about our local birds, environmental education, and ways to get involved in birding and conservation. Orientation provided.

Donate various items—Help connect kids to nature by donating 1)elementary-sized warmth layers and rain coats (washed, preferably) for under-dressed kids to wear on field trips and 2)used CDs and DVDs that kids can fashion into decorative bird deflectors to prevent window collisions. Thanks in advance!

Know anyone who might be a good fit? Please pass this newsletter to family, friends, and neighbors! To sign up or find out more, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at or (208) 467-9278

Our mailing address is:
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
13751 Upper Embankment Road
Nampa, ID 83686

No longer interested in receiving the monthly newsletter? Please let us know.Â

Saskia van Adrichem, Volunteer Coordinator
PCEI AmeriCorps Member
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
fax: 208-467-1019
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