provided to Santiva Chronicle
Mark the calendar for this year’s “Ding” Darling Day birding and eco-festival Sunday, Oct. 20, at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Free activities during the one-day event include refuge tram tours, live wildlife presentations, wildlife yoga, nature sketching, origami, archery clinics, hot dogs, a touch tank and butterfly house, and kids’ nature crafts. Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp winner presentations, plus conservation art award ceremonies, will take place throughout the day.
Recreation concession Tarpon Bay Explorers (www.tarponbayexplorers) offers free stand-up paddleboarding clinics in the morning and all-day discounts on kayak tours and boating excursions that day. Reservations are recommended.
The 31st annual “Ding” Darling Day celebrates the birthday of the refuge’s namesake, father of the Federal Duck Stamp program and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Jay N. “Ding” Darling. It will be part of the pre-celebration for the refuge’s 75th anniversary in 2020.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, and Tarpon Bay Explorers cosponsor “Ding” Darling Day with generous support from the local community and businesses.
Visit www.dingdarlingdays.com for updates on events, information on sponsoring “Ding” Darling Day, or to sign up for e-mail update bulletins. Contact Dot Voorhees at 239-472-1100 ext. 239 to become a sponsor.
Sponsors for the 2019 event include: ROSEATE SPOONBILL SPONSORS: Doc’s Ford Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille; GREAT EGRET SPONSORS: Mitchell’s Sand Castles, Feather Jim & Patty Sprankle; GREAT BLUE HERON SPONSORS: Bailey’s General Store, Mike & Terry Baldwin, Bank of the Islands, Casa Ybel Resort, The Cedar Chest Fine Jewelry, Island Sun/River Weekly, Just Water, Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club, Sanibel Moorings, Sunny Day Guide; REDDISH EGRET SPONSORS: Sarah Ashton – Realtor, RE/MAX of the Islands, The Gresham Family, Island Inn, Jensen’s on the Gulf and Marina & Cottages, Tiffani Kaliko and John Silvia, Dick & Emily Muench, Palm Printing, Stewart & Sons Insurance; SNOWY EGRET SPONSORS: Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership, Colony Inn, Panther Printing, Santiva Chronicle, George & Wendy Schnapp, Winston & Gretchen Spurgeon, Nancy Tome.