Mallards on the RefugeMallards on the RefugeImage courtesy of Gary Freedman

The Refuges are Open

During this time when many places are closed and social distancing is encouraged, Assabet River, Oxbow and Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuges are open for visitors to spend time outdoors on the trails. Refuge Management will continue to assess conditions and adjust operations as necessary to ensure the safety of visitors while protecting natural resources.

The public facilities, including the Visitor Center, Nature Store and outdoor restrooms, will remain closed until it is deemed safe to reopen.

Announcing Our Friends Group Merger!

We are excited to share the news that Friends of the Assabet River NWR has expanded to become:

Friends of the Assabet River, Oxbow, and Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuges, Inc.

Assabet River, Oxbow and Great Meadows are three of the eight Refuges that make up the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The Friends group merger will tie together support and advocacy for important habitats that meet the needs of a wide variety of migratory birds, mammal, plants, reptile and amphibians.

Our Friends Board is collaborating to ensure a smooth transition over the next several months. Stay tuned for Spring program announcements!

April Events

Trillium ErectumTrillium ErectumWe have two programs this month: our Annual Meeting on April 20th and a special performance on April 30th. See here for details.

The Nature Store is Now Online

FARNWR Hats You can now shop the Nature Store online. Items are being added to our new online store every day. Get your Assabet River NWR Hats and Patches with just the click of a button. Click here or on the Store link above to start shopping!

Volunteers Needed!

Garlic MustardGarlic MustardImage courtesy of cisma-suasco.orgVolunteer for Assabet Pulling Together. Garlic Mustard starts growing in late March and will be flowering a few weeks later, so it's time to start removing invasive species from the refuge. Help us keep invasive species out of the refuge by volunteering to remove invasive species from the refuge. See here to sign up.

We need with the following tasks, please email us if you'd like to help!

  • Visitor Outreach Volunteer at the Visitor Center on occasional weekends, at Refuge events and off-site Community Outreach locales such as local fests, farmer's markets and special events. Greet visitors to the outreach table, share our trail maps, suggest hiking routes, hand out brochures and answer questions about the Refuge.

Guidelines When Visiting the Refuge

Please follow these guidelines when visiting the Refuge:

  • Practice safe social distancing on trails and allow 6ft when passing others on trails; follow all CDC guidelines (prevent-getting-sick).
  • Pack in and pack out: There are no trashcans on the refuge and we ask you to please take your trash with you.
  • No pets: Please leave your pets at home to protect wildlife and their habitats. Certified service animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities are permitted on trails as long as they are under the direct control of their owner at all times and all feces is removed from the site.
  • Stay on trails and out of "Closed" areas. This is to protect you and the habitat and prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • Park in designated parking areas. If parking lots are full, please continue on.
  • Please only bike along designated roads. This is for everyone's safety and to protect refuge resources.

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.

The Blanding's Turtle Project, is accepting donations to continue research and to purchase and maintain field equipment for the project. read more

Hear from Jared Green on the Blanding's turtles project: