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About the FriendsMore About the Friends »

Friends president Betsy Griffin received a Certificate of Special Recognition for the Friends work from Congresswoman Niki Tsongas at the Fourth Annual River Day on Sunday, September 12th The Friends of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit that works with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and our local communities to meet wildlife and biological management objectives, recreational and educational goals and support diverse programs related to the Refuge.

We promote educational programs related to the Refuge and natural history of the area. We organize events and programs that help make the refuge more available to the public. We work with Refuge staff to help improve the refuge. This work also provides an opportunity for members to get to know the refuge.


March Monthly Program

On Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 PM come hear Eileen McGourty and Marianne Piché talk about New England Cottontails of Massachusetts. New England Cottontails are cute, one of our children's favorite animals, our local gardeners' bane and they are endangered. As this species is a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife to implement conservation efforts. read more »

Walks and Kids Programs

As winter's snow hopefully starts to melt and the cold abates, the Refuge is busy with Early Spring activities. Check out our calendar for walks, talks and kids' programming! read more »

When Filing Your Income Taxes

Support the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program!

You can donate when filing your Massachusetts state income tax by entering an amount on Line 32a: "Endangered Wildlife Conservation".

A critical part of the funding equation for the MA Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program are your voluntary contributions on your Massachusetts state income tax form. If you care about the future of our wildlife and wild places here in Massachusetts, please contribute.

To learn more about rare and endangered species conservation in Massachusetts, visit Scroll down to and click on "Support us" for a downloadable flyer about the Program and more information on the tax checkoff and making a contribution.

Nature Store Volunteers Needed

Want to meet happy, nature-loving refuge visitors? Want to help the Friends and the Refuge? Picture yourself chatting with people in our lovely Nature Store. All it takes is one weekend day a month from 10AM – 4PM. The environment is relaxed and friendly. Very simple to use cash register. All you need to do is bring a smile! Hours negotiable! Please call Betsy Griffin at 978-793-2756 for information. read more »

Help Save Blanding's Turtles

Since 2006, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has made an effort to establish a new population of Blanding's turtles (a threatened species) at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) by moving juveniles and hatchlings from Oxbow NWR.

Funding is urgently needed to help continue this conservation effort. Please consider helping fund this effort with a tax-deductible contribution to the Friends.

For information see Save the Blanding's Turtle.

See the Refuge OnlineMore information »

We've been photographing the wildlife on the refuge. Check out our wildlife photo gallery and see the refuge through the eyes of talented local photographers. read more »

Report Rusty Blackbird Sightings on the Refuge

Rusty Blackbirds, or “Rusties,” soon earned the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most steeply declining landbirds. You can help the National Wildlife Refuge System learn more about how and when Rusties and other birds use refuges. Bird a refuge and report your sightings! read more »

Puffer Pond Closed to Water Craft

As of January 1, 2015 the refuge will be closing Puffer Pond to all public water craft. This decision is in effort to protect the pristine habitat at the pond from the encroachment of invasive species. read more »

Change to Visitor Center Hours

The Visitor Center at the Assabet River NWR will be closed on Thursdays as of January 1st, however it will remain open Friday-Sunday 10am-4pm and will be available for use by other organizations on closed days. read more »

Small Visitor Services Grant

The Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge has been awarded two grants: $8,800 to begin an Urban Youth Ambassador program and $12,800 for transportation costs for our Urban Environmental Education program. read more »

Blanding's Turtles Released

On May 29th, excited high school students from Bristol County Agricultural School took to the water at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge (ARNWR) to release head-started Blanding's Turtle hatchlings. read more »

Invasive Coltsfoot Found on Refuge

Vigilant Friends identified invasive coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) on Taylor Way at UTM 19T0297842, 4698498. Only a single plant was found so it is possible that it is first generation, but it could be in other locations as well. read more »

Friends Annual Meeting and Board Election

The Friends held their annual meeting on April 23rd. We are happy to welcome our newest board member, David Molzan. Along with electing David, the Friends re-elected board members Betsy Griffin, John Milhaven, Liz Truebenbach, and David Williams. read more »

Fire Break Construction on the Refuge

The Assabett River NWR will be creating mechanical fuel breaks along portions of the southern most boundary and western flank of the south unit in an effort to reduce hazardous woody fuels accumulations. read more »

Eagle Scout Project Installs Five Benches on the Refuge

Eagle Scout candidate Austin Heisey installed five benches at Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. Austin led a team of Scouts from Troop 61, parents, and friends to construct and install the benches at the Refuge for his Eagle Scout Project. read more »

Naturalist Educator Training with Stephen DeFlorio

November 2nd was the last session of Stephen DeFlorio’s Four Season Naturalist Educator Training Series. It was another great session and learning experience for all involved. read more »

Last Update: March 27, 2015