The canoe trail found in the refuge.

19th Annual Everglades Day Family Festival

Saturday, February 10, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join us for Everglades Day, our all-day family festival, with activities for all ages. This year’s theme is “Colors of the Everglades.” Enjoy guided tours, nature walks, bird walks, wildlife demonstrations, presentations, exhibits, games, kids’ fishing, kids’ archery, face painting, canoeing, live music, dance, food trucks and much more!

Guest speakers include Richard Crossley, author of the Crossley ID Guide for Water Fowl, Dr. Nick Aumen, Regional Science Advisor for South Florida for the U.S. Geological Survey reporting on the status of Everglades restoration, and battlefield preservationist Guy Bachmann on the Colorful & Tragic History of the Seminole Wars.

Other special guests include South Florida singer/songwriter Grant Livingston, Everglades Python Hunter Edward Mercer, avian researcher Dr. Kenneth Meyer, alligator researcher Dr. Laura Brandt, flamingo expert Dr. Frank Ridgley, wildlife photographer Lance Warley, and biologist Dr. John Galvez giving his fish electroshocking demos.

The Palm Beach Zoo, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and Okeeheelee Nature Center will exhibit some of their rehabilitated wildlife and the Plein Air painters will be all around the Refuge painting what they see.

All day free admission. Parking for visitors will be at the Solid Waste Authority recycling center 1 1/2 miles south of the Refuge’s Lee Road entrance, with buses running to the Refuge and back continuously. Parking for volunteers, exhibitors and Plein Air painters will be at Monte’s Package Co. 1/2 mile south of the Lee Road entrance, with a courtesy van running to the Refuge and back.

Everglades program schedule:

Boat Ramp Closed for Everglades Day, Fishing Pier Remains Closed

The boat ramp at the west end of Lee Road will be closed on February 10 for Everglades Day.

The fishing pier next to the boat ramp remains closed due to damage incurred during Hurricane Irma.

Alligators of South Florida

Thursday, February 22, 1:30 p.m.

Speaker: Laura Brandt, Ph.D., Regional Scientist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Location: Visitor Center theater

All are invited to learn about the current and future status of the iconic alligator from the leading authority on alligators in South Florida, Dr. Laura Brandt.

Twilight Everglades Tour

Tuesday, February 13, 6:00 p.m. (No Moon)

Tuesday, February 27, 6:00 p.m. (Full Moon)

Experience the unique sights and sounds of the Everglades at night! Meet at the Visitor Center for a guided twilight tour of the Refuge. Try to arrive a little before 6:00 as a courtesy to others. Wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants, good walking shoes with closed toes and heels, and bring a jacket, water, a good flashlight and bug spray. You might also like to bring a hat. Walk is approximately 1 mile.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303.

Bike Tours of the Marsh

Every Saturday & Sunday, 10:00a.m. except February 10

Bring your bicycle and helmet and join your guide for a 6.5-mile wheeled tour. Gain perspective with an introduction to the historic dimensions of the Northern Everglades and then pedal to selected Refuge features, interesting plants and hopefully wildlife! Learn about the unique role of the Refuge and the challenges posed by exotic pest plants. Meet in the Marsh Trail parking lot.

Tram Tours of the Marsh

Daily, Monday – Friday, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Every Monday & Thursday, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Take an open-air Tram tour with our volunteer naturalist for a unique view into the wildlife, marshes and cypress swamps of the Refuge. Your guide will talk about the Refuge, its birds and other wildlife, the ongoing research in the mini-Everglades impoundments of LILA, and answer all your questions in the comfort of your shaded electric tram. Meet at the Visitor Center front desk 15 minutes prior to the tour.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303.

Early Morning Bird Walks on the Marsh Trail

Every Wednesday, 7:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Join our volunteer naturalist for an early morning bird walk on the Marsh Trail. Meet in the Marsh Trail parking lot. Check out recent sightings from eBird Trail Tracker:

View our Bird Checklist:

Swamp Strolls

Every Monday & Thursday, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Meet a volunteer naturalist for a guided tour of the 0.4 mile Cypress Swamp Boardwalk. Learn about the swamp ecosystem from cypress tree knees to animals that call the swamp home. Meet at the pavilion behind the Visitor Center.

Roving Naturalist on Cypress Swamp Boardwalk

Every Sunday, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. except February 11
Tuesday, February 13 & 27, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

A volunteer naturalist will be strolling around the Cypress Swamp Boardwalk, answering questions and discussing flora and fauna of the swamp.

Guided Canoe Trips

Every Saturday, 9:00 – 11:15 a.m. except February 10

Meet at the Lee Road Boat Ramp to enjoy a beautiful canoe tour through a portion of the Refuge interior. You may rent a canoe for $35 from Loxahatchee Canoeing or bring your own. (One canoe seats 2 to 3 people.)

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Call the Visitor Center at 561-734-8303.

Enjoy this 3-minute video made on the canoe trail:

Moonlight Guided Canoe Trips

Saturday, March 3, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 31, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 28, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 26, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Meet at the Lee Road Boat Ramp to enjoy a guided moonlight canoe tour through a portion of the Refuge interior. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants and bring a flashlight and bug spray.

Canoe rental from Loxahatchee Canoeing is $35; you may not bring your own. (One canoe seats 2 to 3 people.)


*** Programs subject to change, for more information on any of the activities and programs, please call the Visitor Center at (561) 734-8303.

Events are listed on the Friends website at

Dynamic Composition 1-Day Photography Workshop

Saturday, February 17, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Visitor Center Theater

For the first time ever, award-winning photographer Lance Warley is presenting a photography workshop on Dynamic Composition: Tools to Create Evocative Images, for any level photographer or visual artist interested in adding greater depth and emotional impact to your photos.

Space is limited. Please contact Lance to reserve your spot. Entry fee is $20 per participant, with all funds donated to the Friends of the Refuge.

Lance Warley 561-945-2074

Fee-Free Day: Presidents’ Day – February 19

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is waiving admission fees at all National Wildlife Refuges on Presidents’ Day, February 19.

35th Annual Photography Contest

Entries accepted now thru Sunday, April 1

Reception and Award Presentation: Sunday, May 6, 1:00 p.m.

Entries for the Friends’ annual Photography Contest are now being accepted at the Visitor Center. All entries must be taken on the Refuge or in areas adjacent to the Refuge, including the Stormwater Treatment Areas STA1E & STA1W.

Six categories will be accepted – Avian, Fauna, Flora, Landscape, Artistic and Youth. All entries must be submitted on a CD, DVD or USB flash drive. Winners will be announced at the Awards Reception at the Visitor Center on May 6.

If you need assistance with digitizing or post-processing or have other questions, please contact or visit

For the Contest Entry Form and the complete set of rules, go to:

Audubon Society of the Everglades: Barn Owls – Nature’s Mousetrap

Tuesday, February 6, 7:00 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Richard Raid, Professor/Plant Pathologist & Manager of the Barn Owl Project, Everglades Research & Education Center, University of Florida

Location: Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, 6301 W. Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, Rooms 101 and 102

All are invited to the monthly meeting of the Audubon Society of the Everglades for an exciting and insightful explanation of how conserving barn owls provides an invaluable natural and non-poisonous rodent control measure for Florida’s valuable agricultural management. Dr. Richard Raid recalls how he started Student SOAR — Sharing Our Agricultural Roots — as a school gardening program so that kids could see how vegetables are grown and where our food actually comes from. Now more than 70 schools participate throughout Florida, most of them established by Raid himself. His passion for teaching and the outdoors inspires students and instills in them an appreciation of the importance of agriculture.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Light refreshments at 6:30 p.m. For more information visit or contact Paton White at 561-818-7574 or

Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group: Cypress Creek Natural Area Restoration Tour

Saturday, February 24, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Tour Guide: David Witmer, Environmental Analyst, Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management

Location: Cypress Creek Natural Area, 10035 W. Indiantown Road, Jupiter. Meet at the north parking lot.

The monthly meeting of the Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group will be an exploration of a wetland restoration area, fire-maintained flatwoods, and transitional hammock with David Witmer. His work with Palm Beach County’s Environmental Resources Management Department includes the removal of invasive exotic species, conservation of threatened and endangered species, and restoration of environmentally sensitive lands. The trip will be about 3 miles with up to ankle deep water!

The meeting is free and open to the public.

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