Upcoming Events

Garden Days. Saturday, August 23, & Sunday, September 21, 9 a.m.-noon. Join us to work in the gardens. No experience necessary. Visitor Center.

Wildlife Observation Center — Migration Staffing Orientation. Saturday, August 23, 1:30—2:30 p.m. Volunteers needed to greet visitors during the busy migration season. Join us for an orientation session. For all volunteers — experienced and new! Wildlife Observation Center.

Migration Staffing — Wildlife Observation Center. Sunday, August 24 - Sunday, November 2. Volunteers needed!

Invasive Species Control Work Days. Thursdays, August 28, September 11 & 25, 9 a.m.-noon. Help control invasive species on the Refuge. Work days on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. Volunteers Needed! Visitor Center.

50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

Nature on Film — Lunch & a Movie. Thursday, September 4, 12:30-1:30 p.m. The Greatest Good. A two-hour movie on Gifford Pinchot and 100 years of the U.S. Forest Service, a time of politics, controversy, and land ethic clashes. Bring a “green bag” lunch; drinks & cookies provided. Visitor Center.

Great Swamp Strike Team Work Days. Fridays, September 5 & 19, 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.

50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

Fall Festival — Wild About Wilderness! Saturday, September 6, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Join us for a Fall celebration — activities for kids, guided walks, exhibits, nature rummage sale — free food and lots of fun! This year we’re celebrating Wilderness! Lets go outside paw print A special interpretive Wilderness Walk will be held. Photo contest winners announced at 1:30. Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

Second Sunday with Friends: Protecting Endangered Species. Sunday, September 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Join Julia Shaw from Defenders of Wildlife to learn how you can be a part of protecting imperiled species. Followed by a short walk led by Ranger Dave Sagan. Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

indicates programs suitable for children

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Get Adobe Reader Jul - Dec 2014 (pdf, Adobe Reader required).


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Fall Festival Celebration
Saturday, September 6
10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Wild About Wilderness!

Come on over to Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge for our 15th annual Fall Festival. This year we are celebrating Wilderness! There will be nature activities and crafts for kids plus a special opportunity to earn a Junior Refuge Manager badge! During the day, join an interpretive walk on trees, vernal pools, butterflies, or wildflowers and enjoy our very own wilderness play. Try your hand at archery, saw a log using traditional tools (like cross cut saws), or go river seining and explore life in the Passaic River. Learn about fish, bears, bats, and refuge reptiles and amphibians with live animal displays. Don’t miss the announcement of the results of the Friends of Great Swamp Annual Photo Contest at 11:30. We’ll be serving free lunch — hot dogs on the grill starting at 11:30.

Summer 2014 Interns with Laurel Gould & Karen English

2013 Fall Festival. Photo by Larry West

To celebrate Wilderness, there will be a special guided walk in the Great Swamp Wilderness Area led by Acting Refuge Manager Steve Henry. The walk, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., leaves from the Orange Trail Parking Lot (White Bridge side). You may go directly to the Orange Trail or meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 sharp where we will caravan to the Orange Trail.

Exhibitors include Great Swamp Watershed Association, New Jersey Native Plant Society, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, The Raptor Trust, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and New Jersey Audubon Society. Wildlife artist Ron Orlando will have wildlife art for sale and Wendi Mulvey will be displaying Enchanted Forest Crafts. Our rummage sale starts at 10:30; at 2:30, all items are half price.

There is no admission charge for the Festival and plenty of free parking. Join us for a full day of fall fun. Click here for a Fall Festival Flyer and a Schedule of Activities.


Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
32 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding Township, NJ

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.