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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
October 6, 2016
In This Issue

This years' "Ding" Darling Days theme is #BirdYear. Make sure to check out all of the fun activities we have planned!
Photo by Terry Baldwin
Teacher Grants 

October 31, 2016
All teachers in schools in the five-county area (Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades) are invited to submit Environmental Education or Science related unit proposals. 
Click HERE for information
"Auto Pilot" Osprey

See You at 
'Ding' Days 
Family Fun Day 
October 16, 2016

Kids love the live animal presentations at the Refuge's free Family Fun Day
Sunday Family Fun Day kicks off weeklong "Ding" Darling Days at the Refuge on Octobe16, 2016. The Refuge and "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society have planned a free day packed with activities for all ages from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Following the 9:45 a.m. flag-raising ceremony presented by local boy scouts, the Refuge will debut its new Orientation Film in the Visitor & Education Center auditorium, followed by a free reusable goodie bag giveaway. READ MORE

For more information on other events during the upcoming "Ding" Darling Days week, October 16-22, click here.
"Engulfed" Art Show

Stained glass work by Kathy Fitzgerald
In conjunction with the visiting Smithsonian Water/Ways free exhibit at the "Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center October 28 through December 7, 2016, "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society will be 
co-hosting a freEngulfed art show with the Southwest Florida Fine Craft GuildArtists and fine crafters will show works inspired by the waterways and other natural areas of Southwest Florida. The exhibit 
goes on display one day prior READ MORE
Stone sculptor John Merchant's "Pipe Dream"

Click here  to see the Water/Ways brochure listing all scheduled programs.

Vote YES to Maintain 20/20 Vision

Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann addresses attendees at last week's press conference.
"The success of the 20/20 program is more important than any other program in Lee County," Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann told supporters and media gathered last Thursday at Bunche Beach for a small rally/press conference. The purpose was to spread the word that local voters need to vote YES on November 8 and on mail-in ballots to ensure the county continues to protect our open space, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, water quality, and drinking water supplies.  The issue has no amendment number; look for it at the bottom of your ballot. And remember to check YES for continued quality of life here in Lee County.
Click above to watch a short video on why we should keep conserving Lee County. Please share this message with other Lee County voters.

Welcome Intern Emily

Intern Emily Koval recently arrived to help the Refuge with manpower shortages this season, thanks to funding from the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society.

Emily, who graduated from Indiana University in May 2015 with a degree in marketing and public relations, serves as a shared-use intern for DDWS and the Refuge. The Carmel, Indiana, native specifically is assisting with digital content design projects.

"I grew up with Sanibel," says Emily. "My family has been coming here since I was a kid -- my parents honeymooned here -- so I have always had a great appreciation for Sanibel's wildlife. One of my favorite parts of the island is experiencing such a unique and diverse wildlife population. Also, being five minutes away from a beach isn't too shabby. The people at the Refuge are also amazing. Everyone has been so welcoming."
October's Free Wildlife Drive Days
Enjoy the sights of Wildlife Drive four days this month.
To celebrate the beginning of National Wildlife Refuge Week, admission to Wildlife Drive is FREE on Sunday, October 9, 2016, to all motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. We continue to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week with free admission to everyone during "Ding" Darling Days' Family Fun Day, Sunday, October 16, and Conservation Art Day on Saturday, October 22
Pedestrians and cyclists are admitted free on Friday, October 21 - a special opportunity because Wildlife Drive is usually closed to all public traffic on Fridays.
Voter Registration Deadline is Quickly Approaching!

Vote NO in November: Don't Let Utilities Block the Sun

Amendment 1 in the November election is 
almost fully funded by the utilities, who have raised an incredible $16 million to place it on the ballot and reach voters.   

Amendment 1 is a deceptively worded amendment that creates barriers for future solar power competition and slows solar use for the future. A diverse army of citizen groups strongly opposes the amendment. Read more about the deceptive ballot HERE. Vote NO in November!



John & Beth Newland 
Jim & Patty Sprankle  
Wayne & Linda Boyd


"Ding" Days Sponsor Showcase 
Island InnHistoric rooms, suites, and cottages on the Gulf of Mexico

West Wind Inn: Family-friendly inn nestled on 500 feet of peaceful white-sand beach

Big Red Q Quickprint: No job too small or big for this professional-quality printing operation

Photos courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Location: 155,000 acres on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Totemic Fauna: Black Bear and Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Fun for the Family: The 15-mile long Murphy Peterson Wildlife Drive is a fantastic way to view some of the refuge's 17 different habitats.
Photos courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Visitor's Tip: Half-mile-long Creef Cutwalking trail affords opportunity for up-close waterfowl viewing, especially in winter.

Turtle Crawl To a Tee

This new V-neck T-shirt for women is crawling with adorable baby sea turtles. The Refuge logo is printed on the back. Priced at only $14.95 each, it is comfortable and attractive in all women's sizes. To mail-order your T-shirt, email or call the Nature Store at 239-472-1100 ext. 241. 
Remember, proceeds from all Nature Store sales go directly to support conservation efforts at the Refuge.
Bobcats are among the species whose habitat the Wulfert Road property acquisition will benefit.
Help Save the Island
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society has undertaken a campaign to acquire 8.15 acres on Sanibel Island's Wulfert Road as a crucial wildlife corridor for the "Ding" Darling Refuge. We must raise $2 million in private funds to purchase the parcel, which lies between SCCF land and the Refuge. 
Donors have already committed more than $600,000 of needed funds, so the goal is to raise the remaining funds by February 2017. If not preserved by the Refuge, the land could be developed with as many as five dwellings and READ MORE
For more information, contact DDWS Executive Director Birgie Miller at 239-292-0566 or by email.

Photo courtesy of USFWS
Photo courtesy of Tarpon Bay Explorers

Two great photos! A river otter and a manatee enjoying the sunny day at the Refuge.

To see more wildlife photos like this one, click on our social media links:

Like us on Facebook View on Instagram
or go to the Society website to view the live webcam!

If you have taken any beautiful, interesting, or just plain goofy photos taken at the Refuge, send them to Carrie Alexander for a chance to be featured in upcoming newsletters.

Wildlife Drive Fee-Free Day - October 9, 2016
27th Annual "Ding" Darling Days - October 16-22, 2016
Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit - Oct.28-December 8, 20
Wildlife Drive Fee-Free Days - November 12-13, 2016
Kids Fishing Derby - November 28, 2016
Happy Hour Holiday Shopping - November 30, 2016
DDWS Annual Meeting - December 7, 2016
Volunteer Holiday Luncheon - December 9, 2016
Biweekly Wednesday Film Series (Sponsored by Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts) - January 4-April 12, 2017
Go Wild for "Ding" - February 8, 2017
Volunteer Awards Luncheon - February 10, 2017
These are just snapshots of some of the things taking place at your Wildlife Refuge.  Please check our website at www.dingdarlingsociety.org to learn more!

Birgit Miller, Executive Director

"Ding" On The Wing composed by Chelle Koster Walton.  Designed by Sarah Lathrop and Emily Koval.
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