Friends of Heinz Refuge (FOHR) is engaged in a wide diversity of projects, programs, and services which serve to raise awareness of and support for John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, as well as the National Wildlife Refuge System and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
NEWS: CELEBRATE WETLANDS ARE CRITICAL SPACES
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge protects Pennsylvania's largest remaining tidal freshwater marsh, encompassing nearly 1,000 acres in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties. This May marks the 23rd anniversary of American Wetlands Month, which celebrates the vital importance of wetlands to our country's ecological, economic, and social health. Wetlands play a critical role in the southwestern Philadelphia community and beyond by improving water quality, increasing water storage and supply, reducing flood and storm surge risk, and providing critical habitat for plants, fish, birds and other wildlife.
NEWS: POLLINATOR POWER THRIVES
The award-winning Friends of Heinz Refuge Children's Pollinator Garden was created three years ago by urban elementary school children to highlight the importance of pollinator plants and creatures. The garden is planted with native wildflowers, shrubs, and perennials, which attract dozens of species of butterflies, bees and birds. As the plants blossom in these warm months, they are buzzing with insect activity. Butterflies and other winged creatures feed on nectar and transfer pollen from one plant to another, ensuring the next generation will be born. Our Pollinator Garden serves as a model for sustainable landscaping that can be adapted to any size property. Visit our garden for ideas on attracting beautiful butterflies and birds to your own backyard! And for more information, visit the website of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign.
UPCOMING: BUTTERFLY COUNT
Join butterfly enthusiast Cliff Hence for the second annual North American Butterfly Association Butterfly Count at Heinz Refuge on July 20 at 9 a.m. In this official citizen science event, Cliff and his team will identify and count these lovely insects that thrive among the Refuge’s summer wildflowers and fields. Last year 22 species of butterflies were reported, including red-banded hairstreak, variegated fritillary, and at least one butterfly from each of the five possible families: swallowtails, whites and yellows, brushfoots, gossamer-wings, and skippers.
Bring water bottle, trail snack and binoculars. Count will begin at Rte 420 side of Refuge, then move over to the Visitors Center side. Please register to participate. Call Heinz Refuge front desk at 215-365-3118. If rain is forecast, contact Heinz to confirm event. (Note rain date: July 21).
NEWS: BALD EAGLET(S) HATCH AT HEINZ
Heinz Refuge staff, supporters and volunteers are delighted to observe the newest generation of Bald Eagles thriving in the Refuge, one of two active eagle nest sites in Philadelphia. Hatched March 13, 2013, two fuzzy-headed eaglets are growing quickly under care of their hard-working parents. The chicks can be seen bobbing their heads above the nestline high atop Oak Island, at the south end of the main water impoundment. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Bald Eagles have nested at Heinz Refuge, signalling increasing health of our riverine eco-systems. Eagles eat almost exclusively fish, which are abundant in the Refuge and nearby Delaware River.
We invite all to post photos and observations on the Friends of Heinz Refuge Facebook page, as the fourth consecutive Bald Eagle nesting season unfolds at the Refuge. Check our "Eye on the Eagles 2013" photo album for frequent updates!
CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF HEINZ REFUGE: REFLECTION 34 OF 40
On October 31, 2000, U.S. Representative Curt Weldon presented FOHR President Jean Diehl and Refuge Manager Dick Nugent with plaques of appreciation for working towards the announced additional funding of the administrative wing in the Cusano Environmental Education Center. Many of the programs and projects on John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge are supported by volunteers. Become a volunteer today!
Heinz Refuge celebrates its 40th anniversary with a collection of articles, stories, and images from the Refuge archives. We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane featuring 40 years of collaborative efforts to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. Read more reflections in our archive. If you have a memory or story to share, please email it to info(at)friendsofheinzrefuge.org. We'll be gathering as many as we can for a special retrospect.