Refuge Volunteer Newsletter


February 1, 2019
Good morning Friends and volunteers!

It has been a long and turbulent two months since my last newsletter, but it sure feels good to be back. As deceiving as the weather has been, it’s still winter here at the Refuge. That means sheets of ice on the lake, wintering wildlife, and our upcoming Refuge Star Party on February 23rd. Be sure to visit the Refuge soon and take a walk through our winter landscape.Â
Looking for something to do between your fireside hot cocoa breaks? Then please read our attached February volunteer newsletter for information on upcoming events, don’t-miss volunteer opportunities, and recent Refuge news.
Thanks, and I hope to see you soon at the Refuge.
Saskia
P.S. Let us know if you are no longer interested in receiving this monthly newsletter.

  


Volunteer Newsletter
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
February 2019

White crowned sparrow. Photo Roger Francis/USFWS.
Volunteers Especially Needed For:
Idaho Master Naturalist (February 15th-May 17th) Complete 40 hours of classes and 40 hours of volunteer work to earn your Idaho Master Naturalist certification.
Refuge Star Party (February 23rd) Help staff a table or activity at our astronomy event.Â
Wood Duck Box Survey (dates TBD) Clean and restore wood duck boxes around the Refuge.


See High Priority Opportunities below for more information.Â

What’s New?
Come take a hike along our Nature Trail to explore the solar system (and get in the mood for the Star Party on the 23rd)! Start at the bowling ball-sized sun and walk the half-mile trail to discover the distances between planets and how big they are relative to the sun. Also discover (and be amazed!) how far you would travel to reach Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our solar system. Our model solar system will be posted in early February, so be sure to check our Facebook page for when it’s ready!

Cheers!
A huge thank you to the community and our dedicated volunteers for their support and unwavering loyalty during these turbulent past five weeks. The lapse in federal funding was a challenge for everyone, but thanks to the outpouring of help from our volunteers and Friends we will be back to normalcy in no time!Â

Around the Water Cooler

The Refuge has seen some staff changes this winter, including the departure of our Refuge Manager Annette de Knijf and our Law Enforcement Officer Colby Clevenger. We will sorely miss them both.Â

If you or anyone you know is interested in a position with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, check out www.usajobs.gov. New jobs are posted every day, so be sure to check back in often.


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, Refuge events, and restoration projects. Tax-deductible memberships start at $10. Or consider an extra donation to support your favorite Friends’ programs! Emailfriendsofdfwr@gmail.com for more info.Â

Upcoming Events
Unless otherwise noted, events take place at the Visitor Center. 
Refuge Star Party—February 23rd, 5:30-8:30pm. Learn how wildlife use the night sky to navigate and do some sky-watching of your own! Activities for the whole family include star stories and stargazing in the College of Idaho’s StarLab and, hopefully, stargazing with the Boise Astronomical Society.Â
Nature Explorers—February 28th, 10:30 am. Preschoolers use their natural curiosity and participate in guided nature explorations. 3-5 year olds should bring a parent and be prepared to be outside and get a little dirty. Fourth Thursday of each month. Free. Rain or shine, cold or hot.
Visitors explore the night sky at the 2017 Refuge Star Party.
Photo copyright Pro Image Event Photography.
High Priority Volunteer Opportunities!
Think you might not have the skills needed to help? Don’t worry! Training is provided.

Idaho Master Naturalists – Deer Flat Chapter (February 15-May 17, Fridays at 1-4pm) The Idaho Master Naturalist Program aims to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to actively work toward stewardship of Idaho’s natural environment. Emailmndeerflat@gmail.com to register for the Deer Flat chapter classes. Deadline to register is February 11.

Refuge Star Party (February 23rd)Participate in an evening of stargazing and learning! We are seeking volunteers to help staff a table, guide a craft activity, or staff the parking lot at our stellar astronomy event.

Wood Duck Box Survey (dates TBD) Help survey, clean, and repair wood duck nesting boxes on the north and south sides of Lake Lowell. Please contactdeerflat@fws.gov if you would like more information about this opportunity.

Other Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Nature Explorers (Fourth Thursday of each month) Help preschoolers use their natural curiosity to investigate nature as a program lead or helper.

Field Trip Leader (Weekdays in April-May, 9am-3pm) Lead or assist with field trips to teach 4th-7th graders about water quality, biodiversity, birds, insects, tracks, and more. No experience necessary. Training provided.

Recycling Mentor (About one hour mid-day on weekdays in April and May)Show students how to sort recycling and compost and help students sort their lunch “trash” into the appropriate bin.


Master Naturalist field trip to Intermountain Bird Observatory, 2017. Photo Nic Carlson/USFWS.

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 deerflat@fws.gov or (208) 467-9278
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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
208-467-9278
fax: 208-467-1019
____________________________
Can’t get enough Deer Flat? Find us on Facebook (facebook.com/deerflatnwr)!
See the stars! Please join us for the Refuge Star Party on February 23 from 5:30-8:30 PM. More information can be found here.