More than 400 visitors attended a socially distant special event that began at 10 am and lasted past 2 pm outside of the National Wildlife Visitor Center in Laurel on Saturday, Oct. 3. The event provided a weekend opportunity for visitors to celebrate Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day, which officially took place on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Regular staff members of the Patuxent Research Refuge (of which the Visitor Center is a part) and volunteers managed the event and were available to answer questions about the refuge and the different types of wildlife and plants that are found there.
All activities were free of charge and included chalk art, questing, and exploring trails. Volunteers had prepared give-away bags in advance and distributed them at the welcome table. The bags were filled with pollinator crafts and seeds of milkweed, a native flower species. Visitors could also learn about raptors at an educational booth.
Many of the visitors had never been to the wildlife refuge before, even though it is conveniently located. The entrance is accessed off of Powder Mill Rd. about two miles east of the Baltimore–Washington Pkwy. The grounds are open to the public from sunrise to sunset seven days a week, except for Federal holidays.