Thursday, September 28⋅6:30 – 7:30pm
– OR –
Join Zoom webinar
Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuge hosts the 2nd Annual WALK FOR THE WILD in several communities in our state. WALK FOR THE WILD is a unique opportunity to enjoy and learn more about an amazing refuge. Those of you not able to attend in person, register and walk 5k wherever you are. Celebrate and support the 16 National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. JOIN AlaskaTeam16!
While participation is FREE, you can support the Friends of Alaska NWR by donating to our team by checking the donate option.
Date: April 1–30, 2023
Call for Submissions:
The 8th Annual Art in the Arctic Art Show
Submission Deadline: February 24, 2023
Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge co-sponsored the 29th Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival in Homer, Alaska, May 6-9, 2021.
The annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, held on traditional Sugpiaq and Deni’ina lands in Homer, Alaska, happened in 2021 like never before. It was my first year as Festival Coordinator, we, I especially, learned a lot! I appreciate all those on the Shorebird Committee who supported me and let me lean on their years of experience.
This year the Festival was a hybrid, holding space for virtual speakers, workshops, and fun activities alongside new and old guided birding excursions, wildlife viewing, and kayaking tours– offered for people of all ages and abilities. The locations of these events ranged from the head of Kachemak Bay to Lake Clark, and along the river and ridges of our community.
And of course, the birds arrived as did the people! At least 17 different species of birds were spotted, including the Ruddy Turnstone which was chosen as this year’s bird of the festival.
The Festival Artist Oceana Wills, and our community volunteer artists who gave their time painting a 6”x6” canvas for the Art & Adventure Auction, added beauty. Every single tour operator, guide, and organization that partnered with us, as well as the generous donors and businesses in our community, ALL gave so much to ensure a welcoming, safe, and memorable experience that will no doubt draw people back when the shorebirds make their stopover next May.
This 29th Annual Festival was like no other. We are all looking forward to the 30th Annual Festival to be held May 4th -8th 2022 where along with the ‘feet on a trail, boat on the water explorations, and fun’ of this year, we hope to add sitting together in a room, applauding our speakers, sharing that perfect frame in our binocs– and our smiles!– while still livestreaming all of it across the world.
The Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges continues to be a great sponsor with continuous support of the Festival and the Coordinator role in this year of transitioning coordinators. The AK Friends work well in partnership with US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Maritime National WIldlife Refuge. We look forward to many more Festivals to come in the future.
The Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge have decided that for the health and safety of our community, employees, volunteers, and visitors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival will not proceed as planned in early May.
It takes an entire community to support Alaska’s largest, most accessible wildlife viewing opportunity, and we are grateful to have earned the community of Homer’s support for the past 28 years. It is out of care and respect for the community (and our many beloved birders), and in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, that we take this action.
We know people across Alaska and around the world will miss the event, and the festival planning committee is saddened to share this news, but we are committed to doing our part to slow the spread of this dangerous virus.
While we are not gathering together this year, we plan to return better than ever in 2021. We also find hope in our shorebirds – as they migrate north, they will continue to gather along our shores. Please stay tuned for new ways to connect with the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. As you continue to enjoy Alaska’s wildlife and wild places, please practice safe social distancing.
The 5th annual Art in the Arctic, February 27, showcasing birds of the Arctic Refuges was a sparkling event well supported by Friends. Two of the six featured artists are Friends members – Laurel Devaney and Amy Mackinaw. Friends Patti Picha and Judy Williams worked the Friends Outreach table with Frank Williams photographing the event.
Numbers were down some from last year with 125 attendees due probably to the biting cold but a good time was had by all. This is a great event for bringing in a diverse crowd and softly conveying refuge messages and information about the 200 bird species that use the northern refuges. This event is run by Fairbanks based refuges – Arctic, Yukon Flats and Kanuti.
Two days later, Arctic Refuge’s 2019 Artist in Residence, Michael Boardman, gave a talk and led a drawing workshop for 14. Boardman has widely shared his experiences on the Arctic Refuge with over a dozen audiences both here in Alaska and in his home state of Maine. Kudos to the northern refuges for so effectively using art to broaden support and appreciation for wild lands and wildlife.