Upcoming Events

Refuge Readers. Friday, August 21, 2-3:30 p.m. Join us for a fun and lively discussion of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Copies are available for loan at the Visitor Center. New members always welcome. Visitor Center.

Great Swamp Strike Team Work Days. Fridays, August 21, September 4 & 18, 9 a.m.-noon. Help eradicate emerging invasive plant species. Work days on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month. Volunteers Needed! Visitor Center.

Wildlife Observation Center Fall Cleanup. Saturday, August 22, 11 a.m.—1 p.m. Help us clean out the shed and spruce up the trails. Stay for a Fall Migration Season kick-off party at 1 p.m. to brush up on procedures and learn what’s new! Wildlife Observation Center, 220 Long Hill Road, Harding Township

Volunteer Orientation. Saturday, August 22, 11:30 a.m.—12:30 p.m. Come and find out about volunteer opportunities at Great Swamp NWR, then caravan to the Wildlife Observation Center at 1 p.m. to learn more — and even get started! (optional). Come to the Visitor Center at 11:30.

Migration Staffing — Wildlife Observation Center. Saturday, August 23 - Sunday, November 8. Volunteers needed!

Invasive Species Control Work Day. Thursdays, August 27, September 10 & 24, 9 a.m.-noon. Help control invasive plant species. Volunteer work days on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays each month. Visitor Center.

Garden Day. Saturday, August 29, 9 a.m.-noon. Join us to work in the gardens. No experience needed. Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

16th Annual Fall Festival — Celebrating Monarchs! Saturday, September 12, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Join us for a Fall celebration — activities for kids, guided walks, exhibits — free food and lots of fun! Photo contest winners announced at 11:30 a.m. Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

indicates programs suitable for children

Download the Event Calendar:
Get Adobe Reader August-December 2015 (pdf, Adobe Reader required).


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Monarchs on the Move

Join us for Fall Festival —
Saturday, September 12,
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

It’s time for monarch butterflies and our annual Fall Festival!

Fall Festival tents

Come to the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center at 32 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding Twp and join activities for all ages throughout the day, including:

  • Nature Walks: With walk leaders, look for butterflies, other pollinators and wildflowers. Learn to identify some new trees. See how you can help wildlife by restoring habitat in the Refuge, and at home.
  • River seining
  • River Seining: What critters live in the Passaic River? Watch experts go into the river with a net, and then show us what they find — colorful fish, crayfish, turtles, dragonfly insect larvae that look like prehistoric monsters.
  • Animals up-close: See monarchs in chrysalis and butterfly stages, bees in their hive, turtles, frogs and snakes, native fish species and other aquatic creatures.
  • Crafts: Make a bluebird nest box, butterfly origami and other crafts.
  • Lunch: Friends of the Great Swamp will provide free hot dogs and the first of the Fall apples.
  • Photography: Photo contest awards announced at 11:30.
  • Archery: With the help of an instructor, try using a bow and arrows to hit the target.
  • Drama: See an original play, “Migrating Monarchs”.
  • Book signing: Meet the author of the new book, “Into the Great Swamp”.
  • Refuge heavy equipment: Climb aboard!
Heavy equipment at Fall Festival

Join us for a fun-filled day as we celebrate the Fall season!

View/download the flyer & schedule.


See more photos on the
Refuge’s Flickr page.

Click on the Great Swamp NWR link in the top right corner below to go to the eBird website. There you can look at the data in more detail.