January 2024

News, Updates & Events from around the Swamp

Photo of Northern Pintail Duck by Robert Lin

For the Birds

Join us for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count being held Friday through Sunday, 2/16-18 at the Visitor Center We'll be counting birds and holding other bird-related activities.

We also want to bring your attention to an effort called FeederWatch that's taking place now during weekends at the Vistor Center. FeederWatch is a November-April survey of birds that visit backyards, nature centers and community areas in North America. The count will allow us to track birds around the VC and to contribute to a dataset of bird distribution and


Second Sunday Events

This program will only be held remotely on Zoom. Please register at ttsu.me/complex

  The zoom login info will be sent to all registrants at 2/11/24 at noon.

To find more info on this or any event, go to https://friendsofgreatswamp.org/events-new/

Second Sunday programs are sponsored by Friends of Great Swamp NWR with generous support from the Marta Heflin Foundation.

Third Saturday Walks

Pleasant Plains Road 

Saturday, February 17, 2024 from 1:30 to 3PM

Please note that Third Saturday Walks will take place once per quarter in 2024. This is the first quarter march; there is no walk in March.

This series of easy, family-friendly, guided walks explore our trails through the seasons. Walk with Friends volunteer naturalists who will point out habitats, refuge management practices, history, plants, birds and animals along the way.

While dogs are not allowed on Refuge trails, they are permitted on Pleasant Plains Road.

**Please note that dogs are not allowed on refuge trails.**

Meet at the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center, 32 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding Township.

Friday Walks With Friends

Fridays from 10AM to 12PM

There's lots of wildlife around and thin foliage makes it easier to spot. Explore the season in the Swamp with our knowledgeable volunteer leaders. They'll point out the sights and sounds and show you the impressive wildlife and vegetation in our Swamp. Meet at the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center.

Winter Walk 2022

Photos by Robert Lin from recent Friday Walks

Barn Owl

Northern Harrier

Great Blue Heron

Revisit Past Programs
Did you know that the Friends have a YouTube channel where many past programs are available to watch again? Catch up on what you've missed or enjoy your favorites again.

Construction Updates

White Oak Trailhead

The trail is completed! Check the Friends facebook page for photo documentation.

Robbins Platform

Preparations have started for this project which will renovate the boardwalk leading to the platform. Check Facebook and the kiosk for updates on closures and progress.

Good Books for Sale

Support the Friends and get a bargain! Browse our selection of gently used natural history books, recent selections from the Refuge Readers and field guides at great prices. Sale table is to the left of the Visitor Center entrance with a highlight cart near the front entrance.

Donations in good condition are welcome. Proceeds help fund projects such as trail improvements and interpretive signage.

Drop off your donations during Visitor Center hours. And thank you!

Featured Displays

Our red-bellied woodpecker friend is proud to announce that January & February's displays in the Visitor Center are focusing on winter backyard birds with a special focus on woodpeckers!

Join the Refuge Readers

The Friends conduct a monthly book club that meets every month except December. Selections vary from current to classic with a wide variety of nature-related topics.

The group meets on third Fridays. For details, current selections and info, please contact Susan Katz at [email protected].  

2 great ways to support the Friends and the Refuge!
Did you know that you can buy a memorial brick to be added to the patio at the Visitor Center? Funds are used to enrich and expand visitor experiences at the Refuge.
Bricks can memorialize loved ones, honor friends & family, or express donors’ commitments to nature and the Refuge.
Your support for Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge will leave a lasting impression for present and future generations.

Buy a Federal Duck Stamp for $25! This stamp program was started in 1934 and to date, more than 6 million acres of habitat has been acquired with funds generated from sales of stamps. And more than 300 national wildlife refuges have been created or expanded – including Great Swamp!

Duck stamps are available for purchase at the Visitor Center. Or send a check for $25 along with a stamped, self addressed envelope to Friends of Great Swamp NWR, 32 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge NJ 07920

Thank you for your support!
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Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
32 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
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