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Visitors Information Center sign

at Merritt Island
National Wildlife Refuge
321-861-0667


Points of Interest

Merritt Island N.W.R. & Canaveral N.S.
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The Visitor Information Center is open 8 am to 4 pm daily November 1 through March 31. April 1 through October 31 the Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm. It is closed most federal holidays.


Free Public Events
For reservation and more information,
call our visitor center at 321-861-0669.
Spread Your Wings On A National Wildlife Refuge


December 2018 - MINWR calendar
Click to enlarge, print & share. (2 pages)

BLACK POINT BUS TOUR9:00AM- 11:00AM: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday
Join a knowledgeable refuge volunteer for a guided two hour tour in the Refuge Shuttle Bus for an opportunity to identify the variety of wildlife found on the refuge. Meet at the Refuge Visitor Center. Space is limited so please call (321) 861-0669 for reservations. Fee of S5 per person, $2 50 with senior or access pass.

BUTTERFLY SURVEYSaturday, December 1st at 9:00AM
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.

SCRUB RIDGE TRAIL HIKESunday, December 9th and 16th at 2:00PM
Join a ranger for a program focused on the endemic Florida Scrub-Jay. You will learn about the natural history of their home here at MINWR and their unique family groups. Please meet at Scrub-Ridge trail for the program. Bring water, closed toed shoes, bug spray, and anything else you might need for a comfortable, casual walk.

TRASH BASHSaturday, December 15th from 9:00AM-12:00PM
Help make the refuge a more beautiful, cleaner place by joining us on the third Saturday of each month through March. Help clean up the refuge and make a safe space for wildlife. We will meet at the Bairs Cove boat ramp turn off Grabbers, gloves, and trash bags will be provided. Everyone welcome!

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTMonday, December 17th starting at 5:30AM
For over a century, Audubon's Christmas Bird Count has been a time-honored tradition. Citizen science data collected during this annual event has uncovered critical information for bird conservation. Join refuge staff and volunteers to inventory birds within Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Kennedy Space Center Celebrate and share your sightings afterwards at the Refuge Visitor Center with light refreshments and great company. To join, please email MINWR compiler and long-standing volunteer, Ned Steel, at nedsteel@msn.com

WONDERS OF THE NIGHT SKYFriday, December 21st at 5:30PM
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Astronomy taught us our insignificance in Nature." Visit Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge to learn the important role of the establishment of the Kennedy Space Center and man's desire to go beyond and stories of the stars for a 45-minute presentation in the visitor center followed by night-sky viewing with a telescope.

CRUICKSHANK HIKESaturday, December 22nd at 10:00AM
Want to burn off some of that holiday food? Join a ranger for a fast-paced hike of the 5-mile Cruickshank Trail. Bring water, closed toed shoes, and bug spray. Please meet at the refuge visitor center 30 minutes prior to the hike.

ALL ABOUT ALLIGATORSTuesdays at 11AM and Thursdays at 12:00PM
Join us to explore the natural history and biology of this intriguing reptile. You will handle gator bio-facts and learn how you can estimate the size alligators that you see. Held in the auditorium of the refuge visitor center.

HOW HANDS CHANGED THE LANDWednesdays from 10:00AM-10:45AM
The program will not be held on 12/26. 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.

BOARDWALK HIKEThursdays from 12:00PM-12:45PM
Join us for a guided hike of the 1/4 mile boardwalk trail around the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center to learn about the local flora, fauna and history of the area. Please meet at the refuge visitor center.

KEEP CALM IT'S JUST A SNAKE10:00AM-10:45AM Monday, December 24th
Get in the holiday spirit by joining Ranger Lindsey and her Ball Python, Sydney. Learn about the effects that non-native species can have on the ecosystem and about the native snakes on the refuge. Held in the auditorium of the refuge visitor center.

BOBCAT CHATTuesdays from 1:00PM-1:45PM
Come learn about the refuge's only resident feline. This 40-minute presentation features pelts and everything you've ever wondered about this stealthy species. Join us for the program in the refuge visitor center.

FIRE PROGRAM1:00PM-1:30PM Saturday, December 1st and 15th
Join a ranger to learn about fire ecology and the prescribed burning program on Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and its vital role in maintaining habitat for local wildlife. The program will be held in the auditorium of the refuge visitor center


Puddles - our FWS logo duck - with an admirer Kids with a spotting scope A birding tour on Black Point Drive
An Owl presentation at MINWR
Girls birding
Admiring the birds on Black Point Drive.


About The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
Connect with us on social media at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, https://www.youtube.com/usfws, and https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.


Canaveral National Seashore/Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Fee Increase
Beginning January 1, 2017 vehicle entrance fees will increase for both seashore and refuge from $5 per vehicle to $10 per vehicle. The Canaveral/Merritt Island Annual Pass will increase from $35 to $40 per calendar year. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (only) Annual Pass will increase from $15 to $25. Visitors with a Refuge only pass or a Federal Duck Hunting Pass may upgrade to include the seashore for $15.

Learn how you can help protect and preserve your natural resources. Start here at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/merritt_island. Consider volunteering or joining The Merritt Island Wildlife Association, https://www.merrittislandwildlifeassociation.org


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Adopt a Trail...Shore...Spot...Road Program

Litter pick up at MINWR. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is proud to announce a new program to help reduce and control litter. Individuals, families, civic groups, clubs, school groups and businesses are invited to participate. The program is patterned after the National Adopt a Road program. Areas open for adoption include interior roads, shorelines, trails and spots such as boat launches and Refuge entrances. Participating members of the program will commit to three litter clean ups per year in their adopted area. Adopting organizations will get a recognition sign posted at their site. Please join us in keeping your refuge clean. Please call Mary Bibler, Pathways Intern at 321-861-0668 for more information.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/southeast. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/usfws, and download photos from our Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.

Please call Mary Bibler, Pathways Intern at 321-861-0668 for more information.



The Visitor Center is located on SR 402, 5 miles east of U.S. 1 in Titusville.





Planning A School Field Trip


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Check our PRESS RELEASES for some program details

For more information, please contact us at:
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Mary Bibler, Pathways Intern
P.O. Box 2683
Titusville, Florida 32781
321-861-0668
Email: mary_bibler@fws.gov


U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


On March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an Executive Order creating Pelican Island as the country's first national wildlife refuge. Roosevelt went on to establish an additional 54 national wildlife refuges during his two terms and set historic conservation values for America. These values have grown into a system, which today, consists of 562 National Wildlife Refuges on more than 150 million acres of America's most important wildlife habitat. As part of its mission, the Service manages 562 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System covering 150 million acres. These areas comprise the National Wildlife Refuge System, the world's largest collection of lands and waters set aside specifically for fish and wildlife.

The majority of these lands, 77 million acres are in Alaska, while 54 million acres are part of three marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean. The remaining acres are spread across the other 49 states and several United States territories. In addition to refuges, the Service manages thousands of small wetlands, 38 wetland management districts, 70 national fish hatcheries, 65 fishery resource offices, and 81 ecological services field stations.

The Service enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

About The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.



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