Officials with Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge have scheduled a month of activities that will allow visitors to enjoy the crisp fall temperatures, autumn foliage and native wildlife that call Delaware home.

With temperatures falling and first day of fall (Sunday, Sept. 22) just around the corner, officials at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge have scheduled a month of activities that will allow people to enjoy crisp temperatures, autumn foliage and the native and migratory plants and animals that call Delaware home.

Save these dates now:


Volunteer Information Meeting

10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge officials will host a meeting for potential volunteers in the refuge auditorium. Topics will cover volunteer opportunities as well as upcoming activities and a tour of the grounds.

Thinking you're not the type of person who will like getting dirt under the nails? That's OK. Not all jobs require gardening expertise or the knowledge and prowess of an avid outdoorsman. Volunteers are also needed to staff the visitor center and the Refuge Store. Volunteers are also needed to assist or lead the various school groups and children who annually visit the refuge. Training is always provided.


Highway Clean Up

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Saturday, September 21, 2013

Join other environmentally-minded individuals for a bit of beautification along the roads leading up to Bombay Hook. Anyone interested should plan to meet at the Visitor Center. Wear shoes that can get wet and bring work gloves. Refreshments will be served after the clean-up.


9th Annual Native Plant Symposium: Rain Gardens Inspired by Native Plant Communities

10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rain gardens are being installed all over the country but functioning and thriving examples are rare. Often found in urban areas, rain gardens are typically planted near a runoff source like a driveway, sump pump or downspout. Using deep-rooted native plants and grasses, the garden captures the runoff that would normally lead to erosion, water pollution, flooding and diminished groundwater.

The symposium will discuss why so many plantings fail or lack the ecological and functional value they are expected to produce. Speakers include Delaware Natural Heritage Program Botanist Bill McAvoy and Rob Jennings of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. A complimentary lunch will be included.

The event, sponsored jointly by the Delaware Native Plant Society and the Bombay Hook Garden Keepers, is free and open to the public but, due to limited space, registration is required. For more information, call (302) 653-6449 or email

Hike through the Hook

Refuge Tour

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22

Join volunteer guide Ray Cullom for a tour of the Refuge. Find out how the Refuge is managed for wildlife, visit different habitats, and walk a trail. Meet at the Visitor Center.


Entrance fees waived

Sunrise to Sunset, Saturday, September 28, 2013

In celebration of National Public Lands Day, the community is invited to visit Bombay Hook without having to pay the normal $4 entrance fee. The fee-free day is observed at many federal public lands including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. From sunrise to sunset, individuals and families are invited to tour the 12-mile wildlife drive or walk the five short walking trails. Migratory waterfowl will be starting to arrive while some of the shorebirds and tall wading birds will also still be present. This is also a good time of the year to look for migratory raptors.


Teacher's Workshop

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11

Thanks to various school groups and after-school clubs and activities, many kids come to the refuge year after year for up-close-and-personal encounters with native wildlife and vegetation. But, those groups need patient adults who have an interest in wildlife preservation and conservation as well as a desire to inspire the next generation to be interested in localized environmental issues, too.

Teaching credentials are not required to lead these groups, though. All training is provided. Any adult interested just needs the gift of gab, equanimity with children and a little creativity.

Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troupe leaders and teachers are also encouraged to create their own programs for children as well.

Potential teaching volunteers and all others interested in creating programs for children should call (302) 653-9345 for more information or to register for the workshop.