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Friends of Patuxent

Supporting Research, Wildlife Conservation, and Education at the Patuxent Research Refuge
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Below is a list of special events at the Patuxent Research Refuge. For a full list of upcoming USFWS events at Patuxent, click here.

Upcoming events

    • 7 Oct 2023
    • 10:00 AM
    • National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708
    Register here for Team Whooping Crane!

    Join us for Walk for the Wild!

    Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 7-14!

    Join the Friends of Patuxent and Team Whooping Crane at the National Wildlife Visitor Center at Patuxent Research Refuge on our mission to help wildlife and humans thrive. The goal? To get thousands of people moving outdoors a distance of 5K in support of national wildlife refuges during National Wildlife Refuge Week. Can’t make it on October 7? Walk outdoors anywhere and anytime during National Wildlife Week. It’s all good!


    What is 'Walk for the Wild'?

    Walk for the Wild is a national event to bring people together for wildlife and their local national wildlife refuge. Join a movement of people protecting thriving ecosystems and enjoying time outside. Here you'll find all the stories from wildlife refuge Walk for The Wild teams across the nation participating this year, including ours!

    Support Team Whooping Crane's Walk for The Wild! Shop for WFTW shirts, buttons, stickers hereHappy Shopping, if you so choose!

    • 14 Oct 2023
    • 9:00 AM
    • National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708

    On October 14, 2023*, Friends of Patuxent will dedicate the Dr. Chandler S. Robbins Outdoor Education Center and the new Wisdom Trail at Patuxent Research Refuge in honor of “Chan,” as he was known by friends and colleagues. Chan passed away March 20, 2017 at the age of 98.

    Chan was an internationally known and respected ornithologist, senior author of the Golden Field Guide Birds of North America, and well-loved in the Patuxent community. He spent his entire professional career at Patuxent. Friends of Patuxent Research Refuge, in consultation with Chan’s family, established an endowment to honor his legacy, and to further the appreciation of birds and their habitats through research, conservation, and education.

    The Outdoor Education Center and Wisdom Trail represent the first project with endowment funds. The project is designed to carry on Chan’s legacy of introducing people to the enjoyment of recreational birding and to the science of bird conservation. The Center supports environmental activities for all ages. The Trail features a series of hands-on interactive stations designed to engage visitors and encourage them to explore and interact with their surroundings. The name “Wisdom” is inspired by a female Laysan Albatross now known by that name that was banded by Chan in 1956 on Midway Atoll. Wisdom is still alive and reproducing; she is widely considered to be the oldest living bird in the world. And of course, the Wisdom Trail commemorates all the wisdom passed down to us by Chan through his many scientific studies and community science projects.

    Dedication of the Robbins Outdoor Education Center and Wisdom Trail will be held at the National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708, beginning at 9 am on Saturday, October 14, 2023 (rain or shine). Please join us for brief remarks followed by a walk on the trail and refreshments. Please come and share your memories of Chan. Registration is not necessary.


    *Dedication will be postponed if the federal government shuts down.

    • 14 Oct 2023
    • 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
    • National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708

    Cartoon of Blue Heron Standing in front of city landscape

    Urban Wildlife Conservation Day

    This year’s theme is all about our local bird populations. We will have crafts for kids, fun games, demonstration and live animals. All ages, no registration. 

    Activities include:

    • Archery
    • Crafts
    • Live animals
    • Birdbox building

    We will also be dedicating the new Wisdom trail and renovated Dr. Chandler S. Robbins Outdoor Education Center.  The dedication will take place at 9:00 AM.


    Día de la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre Urbana

    Sábado 14 De Octubre, 10:00am - 2:00pm

    • Tiro Al Arco
    • Manualidades Para Niños 
    • Espectáculo de Animalesh
    • Dedicación del Centro Educativo y Sendero
    • Construir Cajas Para Pájaros

    Todas las actividades son gratuitas.

    • 4 Nov 2023
    • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708

    Friends of Patuxent Wildlife Holiday Bazaar

    Saturday, November 4, 2022
    9AM to 3PM

    National Wildlife Visitor Center
    10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop
    Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD

    • Shop Baldy’s Bargains for wild and not-so-wild new & gently used treasures.
    • Shop a variety of vendors providing one-of-a-kind gifts to complete your holiday shopping list
    • Take home a treat from the Bake Sale
    • Lunch at the Crane Café
    • Meet live animals
    • Door prizes every hour
    • Play Wildlife Bingo
    • Enjoy wildlife holiday story time

    Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted.

    Supports the Patuxent Research Refuge and Eastern Ecological Science Center.

    For more information call 301-497-5772

Friends of Patuxent Research Refuge, Inc.

Contact Us:
Office: (301) 497-5789
Fax: (301) 497-5765


10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop

Laurel, Maryland 20708-4011

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