Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Upcoming Programs and Events For May
By Space Coast Daily // April 24, 2019
for more information or call 321-861-0669
BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge traces its beginnings to the development of the nation’s Space Program.
In 1962, NASA acquired 140,000 acres of land, water, and marshes adjacent to Cape Canaveral to establish the John F. Kennedy Space Center.
NASA built a launch complex and other space-related facilities, but the development of most of the area was not necessary. In 1963 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service signed an agreement to establish the refuge and in 1975 a second agreement established Canaveral National Seashore.
Today, the Department of Interior manages most of the unused portions of the Kennedy Space Center as a National Wildlife Refuge and National Seashore.
UPCOMING PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
BLACK POINT BUS TOUR
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: Join a knowledgeable refuge volunteer for a guided two-hour tour in the Refuge Shuttle Bus for an opportunity to learn about the variety of wildlife found on the refuge. Meet at the Refuge Visitor Center. Fee of $5 per person, $2.50 with senior or access pass.
Space is limited so please call 321-861-0669 for reservations.
Saturday, May 4 starting at 9 a.m.: View a photo presentation to learn how to identify butterflies. Then, participate in a butterfly survey to collect data for North American Butterfly Count and Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network. Bring water, snacks, insect repellent and wear closed shoes and long pants.
Meet in the auditorium of the refuge visitor center.
Tuesday, May 7 and 14 at 1 p.m.: Come learn about the refuge’s only resident feline. This 40-minute presentation features pelts and the answers to everything you’ve ever wondered about this stealthy species.
Join us in the refuge visitor center auditorium.
ASK A BIRDER
Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Do you have a specific birding-related question? Maybe you want to see a certain bird or have a picture and need help identifying it! If this is the case, then visit us on Wednesdays.
A knowledgeable birder is ready to answer your questions at the Refuge visitor center front desk.
Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Visit the Manatee Observation Deck on Haulover Canal to chat with volunteers about one of Florida’s favorite megafauna. Learn about their diets, habits and threats on Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and touch manatee bones to discover their natural history.
ALL ABOUT ALLIGATORS
Thursdays at 11:30 a.m.: Join us to explore the natural history of this intriguing reptile. Handle gator bio-facts and learn fun facts like how to estimate the size alligators that you see.
Held in the refuge visitor center auditorium. 30 minutes.
SCIENCE OF SEA TURTLES
Thursdays at 3 p.m.: Sea Turtles have made an impact on our lives in many ways, some of which we might not realize. Join a ranger to explore the life cycle of a sea turtle and ways that we impact them. You will have the opportunity to learn about the species of sea turtles that nest on these beaches, such as the Loggerhead, Green, and Leatherback.
Held in the auditorium of the refuge visitor center.
HOW HANDS CHANGED THE LAND
Fridays at 10 a.m.: Long before the Kennedy Space Center or Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge came to exist, wildlife and people alike called this place home. Learn about how as the land changed hands, hands changed the lands in this 45-minute auditorium talk. There will not be a program on May 17.
Programs are subject to change. Please call to confirm program.
The Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Visitor Center is closed on Sundays. Trails and wildlife drives are open sunrise to sunset daily. Extreme weather may result in unexpected road closures.
CLICK HERE for more information or call 321-861-0669.
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