Friends of Wertheim

National Wildlife Refuge



The Friends of Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge (FOW) is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the enduring protection, management and appreciation of Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge and its environs. 



Pine Barrens Discovery Day

Saturday, September 10 (10:00AM – 4:00PM)

Come learn about one of Long Island’s most important natural areas by experiencing it first hand! Participate in Funshops, Nature Walks, Kids Discovery Center games and activities, and exhibits for the entire family. A full schedule of the day’s events can be found at

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Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

340 Smith Road  Shirley, NY 11967  (631) 286-0485

Programs and Events

February to May 2017

Saturday, February 11 (10:00 – 11:00AM) Owls of Long Island

Did you know there are 6-8 owls we see on Long Island? Some only part of the year and some stay with us all year and nest here? Silent, hard to spot with much folklore surrounding them, owls are fascinating creatures. Dianne Taggart will tell us all about them, so come join us to hear about these wonderful birds!

Saturday, March 4 (10:00AM - 3:00PM) Trailblazer District Mall Show

Attention all boy scouts! Join refuge staff and volunteers at Sun Vet Mall in Holbrook for an event featuring a district wide Pinewood Derby and Raingutter Regatta races. For additional information, please contact Special Guest Coordinator Robin Sconzo at

Saturday, March 11 (10:00 – 11:00AM) Warblers Are Coming!

What amazing birds the warblers are! And we get to see so many during migration, all in their beautiful breeding colors. Dianne Taggart will talk about the warblers we see on Long Island: some as they pass through and some who stay here to nest. Join us for interesting facts and photos that will help you get ready for spring migration.

Thursday, March 16 (6:00 – 7:30PM) STEAM Around the World 

Join refuge staff at the annual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Symposium at the William Floyd High School gymnasium for an interdisciplinary extravaganza showcasing the amazing things being done in our community in the STEAM field and raising awareness and interest in STEAM-based careers. 

Friday March 24 and Saturday March 25 Long Island Natural History Conference

Join refuge staff and volunteers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory for this annual event, featuring current information and Long Island research on reptiles and amphibians, white sharks, vernal ponds, salt marshes, river herring, brook trout and rare freshwater fish, beachgrass, horseshoe crabs, Plum Island, dwarf pines, and recent fish kills. See for additional information.

Saturday, April 22 (10:30AM - 12:30PM) Celebrate Earth Day: Green Fire at Patchogue Plaza Cinema

Green Fire tells the incredible story of legendary conservation hero Aldo Leopold, whose extraordinary career and enduring influence shaped the modern conservation movement and continues to inspire projects all over the country that connect people with the land. Join the Friends of Wertheim in this special Earth Day screening to celebrate Leopold's incredible journey! Limited seating available. Tickets available at the door, and advance tickets can also be purchased for $5 at the Friends Nature Store.

Saturday, April 22 (2:00 – 3:30PM) Earth Day Mini Fest

Celebrate Earth Day with this FREE family event, featuring variety of earth and nature-themed crafts and activities.  It's eco-friendly, nature-based fun for all ages! 

Wednesday, April 26  (7:00PM) Family Summer Resource Fair

Wondering what summer programs might be available for your family? Join refuge staff at the William Paca Middle School for the Family Summer Resource Fair, where a variety of community organizations will showcase their summer programs, services and camps available to families and children.

Thursday, April 27 (6:00 – 8:00PM) Sunset Hike

The refuge is teaming up with the Brookhaven Free Library to explore the refuge during the special time of day when the day shift retires and the night shift comes on board. Many types of wildlife (called “crepuscular”) are most active during this time of the day. Let’s see what we can find! For all ages.

Saturday, May 6 (10:00 – 11:30AM) Spring Botany Walk

The highlight of this walk with MaryLaura Lamont will be emerging spring wildflowers along the river corridor. Marsh marigolds should all be in full bloom as well as marsh blue violets. Shrubs and trees are in bud and flower as well so all plants will be observed as we meander along the scenic river.

Saturday, May 13 (10:00 – 11:00AM) Nesting Birds of LI

Do you know what birds nest on Long Island? We are lucky to have so many nesters: both resident birds and migration birds. It’s fun to watch the territorial and courtship displays, as well as the young as they grow. Come join us as Dianne Taggart talks about nesting birds as we get ready for the nesting season.

Thursday, May 25  (9:00AM - 3:00PM) HIA-LI Trade Show

Join refuge staff and volunteers at the Suffolk County Community College Sports & Exhibition Center in Brentwood for the HIA-LI Trade Show, featuring hundreds of exhibitors from businesses and organizations from across Long Island.

On your next visit to the Wertheim Refuge please stop at our visitor’s center and inquire about the following activities:

Junior Refuge Manager (recommended ages 7-12)

We will lend you a backpack containing everything you’ll need to start your journey. Included is a Junior Refuge Manager Discovery Journal. Binocular Basics, Animal Behavior and Reading Tree Rings are a few examples of what you’ll discover on your trip around the refuge. Come back to the Visitors Center with your completed journal and you will receive a certificate and badge.

Virtual GeoCache (recommended age 10-16)

Secrets of the hidden forest a geocaching adventure. Check out a backpack containing a GPS.  A booklet will lead you through a series of discoveries. You will use the coordinates on the GPS to discover the secrets of the forest. Fill out the booklet and when you return to the visitor’s center, you’ll receive a compass.

Looking forward to seeing you soon. Have Fun!

Unless otherwise stated, all programs will take place at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge and are FREE OF CHARGE. The refuge headquarters is located at 340 Smith Road, Shirley, NY 11967. Call (631) 286-0485 for additional information.

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