Free Refuge Programs Begin January 6

provided to Santiva Chronicle

The Refuge recently opened an upgraded hands-on exhibit about “Ding” the man and will conduct a free weekly program about him to honor the 75th anniversary of “Ding” Darling Refuge.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge has announced its calendar of daily free tours and programs for winter 2020. The seasonal calendar begins on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, and runs through Sunday, April 19.

Daily programs begin at 8:30 a.m. and include such diverse activities and topics as “Ding” the Man, Beach Walk, Endangered Species, and Indigo Trail Walk.

Special this year, in honor of the Refuge’s 75th Anniversary, the “Ding” the Man program takes place every Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the Visitor & Education Center to survey the life of Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling through never-before-seen memorabilia and tales of his groundbreaking achievements in the realms of editorial cartooning and conservation.

Long before there was a refuge named “Ding,” the cartoonist won two Pulitzer Prizes, started the Federal Duck Stamp Program and designed the first stamp, and pushed for the creation of the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge, which now bears his name.

“We are excited to tell this important story, because so many don’t realize our deep-seated origins,” said supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland, who will present the program. “Our full range of programs promises something for all ages.”

For a full look at programs, tours, and descriptions, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/free-refuge-programs. Free educational programs are made possible through support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS).

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