Free Guided ‘Ding’ Refuge Tours Under Way

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Check out the refuge’s Eventbrite page to sign up for the Bailey Tract Tour and other guided weekly walks.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge has received the green light from federal officials to commence this season’s free tours after an earlier pandemic freeze on refuge programming. Staff must limit the outdoor tours to 10 people or fewer.

There’s no set schedule for the tours, which will run through April 11, 2021. The refuge posts its offerings weekly at, where participants must pre-register free-of-charge.

Tours include a Birding the Refuge car caravan tour, Bailey Tract Tour, Indigo Trail Walk, Bike Tour, Beach Walk, Birds of the Refuge Walk, Endangered Species car caravan tour, Mindfulness Walk, and Art Journal Walk. Participants must wear facemasks and bring their own binoculars and scopes.

“We are excited to be able to once more welcome visitors to our free educational tours,” said supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland. “As mandated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, we are observing strict compliance with CDC guidelines in the interest of everyone’s safety.”

Free educational tours are made possible through support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS). For safety guidelines and other information, visit or call 239-472-1100 ext. 221.

As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits.

To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit or contact Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or

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