Refuge staff recently announced that the new date for the 32nd annual “Ding” Darling Day at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island will be Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in conjunction with its 75th Anniversary Celebration. Originally set for  Sunday, Oct. 18, the event has been postponed due to safety concerns from COVID-19 spread.

“We had been planning on an extra special ‘Ding’ Day this year, so when leadership asked us to rethink, redesign, and postpone our on-site events, we changed it to coincide with the date of our 75th,” said supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland, who heads the “Ding” Darling Day committee.

Details of how this year’s “Ding” Day will look are still in the planning stage as the committee adapts to the changing situation. It tentatively will include a refuge dedication with officials from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other dignitaries in attendance. Social distancing and other safety precautions will be required at the outdoor event. Admission to Wildlife Drive will be free to all that day.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS), and Tarpon Bay Explorers cosponsor “Ding” Darling Day with generous support from the local community and businesses.

Visit for updates on events, information on sponsoring “Ding” Darling Day, or to sign up for e-mail update bulletins. Contact April Boehnen at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or [email protected] to become a sponsor.



As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits.

To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit or contact Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or [email protected].



Dec. 1, 2020

“Ding” Darling 75th Anniversary & 32nd Annual “Ding” Darling Day

  1. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

1 Wildlife Drive

Sanibel Island FL