The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge invites visitors to join a ranger for a free summer program on a wildlife drive. The program is offered every Wednesday at 9 a.m. through August 5, 2023.
Participants can learn about the refuge’s history, wildlife, conservation efforts and hurricane recovery. Along the way, they may encounter some of the refuge’s resident and migratory birds, such as mangrove cuckoos, roseate spoonbills, and herons. They may also spot some of the refuge’s aquatic animals, such as manatees, dolphins, and alligators.
The program is suitable for all ages and lasts about an hour. Sign up at  Participants should meet at the base of the ramp in front of the Visitor & Education Center. They should also bring water, hat, sunscreen, and bug spray. Binoculars and cameras are recommended.
The refuge is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5p.m., except on Fridays when it is closed. The Visitor & Education Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on Fridays when it is closed. Admission to the refuge is $10 per vehicle or $1 per pedestrian or bicyclist. Federal passes available, inquire in-site.
The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States. It is world-famous for its spectacular migratory bird populations and is home to more than 245 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, 32 species of mammals, and more than 100 species of fish.
For more information about the refuge and its programs, visit or call (239) 472-1100