Maria Sgambati, President-Elect of the Friends of the Refuges is packing away her flipflops, leaving the balmy Florida winter, and heading to Washington, DC to represent our local Friends group. Friends group representatives from across the nation will attend this two-part event that stretches across 5 days.
Sponsored by the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA), the first part of the trip – “Standing up Wildlife Fly-In” will take place January 19-21 and includes Advocacy training with the NWRA staff; a dinner with the Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Cynthia Martinez, Chief of Refuges; and meetings with Florida Congressional staffers to discuss the value of Refuges.
The second part of the trip – Moving Friends Forward— is a two-day training that will take place January 22-24 at the National Conservation Training Center, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. More then 200 Friends and 100 Service Staff are expected to attend this training from across the United States. The training will focus on three areas of learning toward fulfilling common missions of serving people and wildlife: engaging people, partnership and nonprofit management, and communications and marketing.
Between this busy schedule Maria looks forward to reconnecting with friends and family back in DC.
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The official government websites of the Refuges
"Escape to the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge" video by Visit Florida