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Friends of St. Marks
Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 368
St. Marks, FL 32355

Phone: (850) 925-6121

Email for more information

Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge

The St. Marks Refuge Association (which was formed in 1987) supports the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in all aspects of its mission. In 2014, the association registered to 'do business as' Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. The Friends' group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

The Refuge comprises over 70,000 acres of wildlife habitat along 45 miles of Florida gulf coastline. To get to the Refuge, turn south on Lighthouse Road off of U.S. Hwy 98. If you are visiting the capitol city, the Refuge is approximately 35 miles south of Tallahassee.

Visit this site often to learn about announcements, upcoming events, news, membership, educational efforts, volunteering, support and more. (Note: if you have come to the "Friends" site when you intended to visit the "Refuge" web site, you can go there now.)

Closure Note
Hunting Notice

The outer levee of Stoney Bayou #2 has been closed until further announcement to limit disturbance to the wintering waterfowl using the southern portion of the pool.  Please respect the signs.

Also, it's now hunting season in varying parts of the Refuge, so if you plan to hike into more remote regions of the Refuge, please check at the Visitor Center be aware of areas to avoid.

curlew bird photo

Birds to Look For at the Refuge - November 21 Survey
Don Morrow, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge volunteer and expert birder, conducted a recent survey. In his notes, he said, "Recent weather fronts are bringing in Mallards and Shovelers. Many more egrets, herons, ibis and gulls. Also Snow Geese; ten white phase adults flying out of Stony Bayou II at dawn and a group of five at the south end of Mounds Pool III. I saw a flock of 2,500 Red-wings, may have had grackles mixed in. That's common this time of year. I also picked up a Goldeneye on the Gulf. It's shaping up to be a good season."

illustration of vermillion flycatcher Noteable Bird Sighting
Several birders and photographers have seen the return, this year, of Vermillion Flycatchers at Double Dikes and other locations in the Refuge.

woman using walking stick

Nature Store
Visit the Friends' Nature Store, and you will see why the store is one of our great success stories. In addition to T-shirts, gift cards, jewelry, and burnished water bottles, we are now featuring walking sticks by Whistle Creek (left). Visit the Nature Store, and get more information about these useful hiking accompaniments. (All profits benefit various Refuge programs!)

Special Notes:

  • Construction is taking place at the lighthouse over the next several months. Until further notice, it will not be open on the usual "First Saturday" of each month.
  • Also, drones are not permitted to be launched on national wildlife refuges.  Please inform law enforcement if you see drones being used on your visit here. Thank you for your help.
Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 8 – Tots on Trails   11:00 a.m. - noon.  Meet Ranger Heather Bevis at Nature’s Classroom for a 45 minute walk and short hands-on outdoor activities for 1 ½ to 4 year olds.  Bring a water bottle.  Possibly wet and muddy! Call (850) 925-6121 for reservation

Saturday, December 10 – Fall Birding Tours. 9:00 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Join  Dana Bryan for a behind the gates tour.  Meet in the Visitor Center parking lot.  Call (850) 925-6121 to reserve a spot.

Saturday, December 10, NIGHT PROWL, with Scott Davis and Gail Fishman.  5:30 - 8:30 PM  Call to register

Friday, December 16 – Bird and Wildlife Tour. with Matt Johnstone. 9:00 a.m. Behind the gates tour. Limit of 10 participants.  Meet at the Visitor Center. Call (850) 925-6121 to reserve a space.

Sunday, December 18 – E-Tram Tour 1 p.m. Tour will be led by volunteer and photo club member Neil Hostnick.  Limited to 10 persons.   Reservations are required.  Call (850) 925-6121.  

Sunday, December 18 – Bird and Wildlife Tour. with Matt Johnstone. 9:00 a.m. Behind the gates tour. Limit of 25 participants.  Meet at the Visitor Center. Call (850) 925-6121 to reserve a space.

Sunday, December 25 – Merry Christmas!  Visitor Center is closed.  Refuge is open.


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Copyright: St. Marks Refuge Association, 2013

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