Willapa National Wildlife Refuge managers, staff and volunteers encourage the general public to visit the refuge from Oct. 9 through Oct. 15 during National Wildlife Refuge Week.

The week is a result of a nation proclamation intended to remind Americans how nature enriches our lives and adds to the beauty of the nation, according to the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. In essence, this week highlights the National Wildlife Refuge System and its network of lands and waters that protect wildlife and their habitats. More specifically, National wildlife refuges help conserve wildlife, protect against erosion and flooding and purify our air and water.

According to “Banking on Nature,” Refuges also pour $2.4 billion into the national economy and support more than 35,000 jobs.

At the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can enjoy a range of recreation — from bird and animal watching, photography, hiking, hunting, to fishing and camping.

The Willapa refuge consists of about 17,000 acres and is divided into several management units, including Leadbetter Point, Long Island, Porter’s Point, Bear River, Teal Slough, Tarlatt, Lewis and Riekkola Units. Our local refuge is one of over 550 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System — a living heritage, conserving wildlife and habitat for today and for future generations.

Come celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week! Visit the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and soak up the serenity and excitement it provides. You can also celebrate the week by volunteering or joining the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. For more information, visit friendsofwillaparefuge.org and for more information on the refuge, go to www.fws.gov/refuge/willapa.

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