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"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter
December 29, 2016
In This Issue
Our 2017 FREE Film Series kicks off  January 4, 2017To learn more, click the logo to the right. 
Mullet: The Tale of Two Fish kicks off the fifth annual "Ding" Darling Wednesday Film Series on January 4, at 1 p.m. in the Visitor & Education Center auditorium. Produced by the local PBS affiliate station WGCU, the documentary is the second in its series on sustainable seafood. Mullet explores the long and storied history of Florida's most under-appreciated fish, including its importance as a food source for Native READ MORE 
THANK YOU to our 
Film Series Sponsor
The late Theodore Cross with his camera equipment as he was preparing to take some shots
The fourth annual 
"Ding" Darling-Theodore Cross High School Photography Contest has a deadline of January 15, 2017. The contest invites high school students in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades, and Hendry counties to compete for prizes that include a Canon digital SLR camera package, chartered class trips to the Refuge, and copies of Waterbirds READ MORE
Photo by Sarah Lathrop
As we wish you all a happy, healthy, and nature-filled new year, we also would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our marvelous donors, sponsors, partners, and friends for making 2016 successful for the Refuge and its wildlife.
Wildlife Drive will remain open 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day but Friday (the day it always closes).

Tarpon Bay Explorers is open every day starting at 8 a.m.

"Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center:  
Friday, December 30 - open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.*
Saturday, December 31 - open 9 a.m. - 12 noon (pending early dismissal)
Sunday, January 1st  - CLOSED
Monday, January 2nd  - CLOSED (holiday observed)
*NOTE: Normal Visitor & Education Center hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. year-round.
Birding the Refuge tours take place every Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30 a.m
From birding and biking the Refuge, to learning about manatees and venomous wildlife, the seasonal calendar of free programs and tours at the Refuge begins on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, and runs through April 23. Daily programs start at 8:30 a.m. and include such diverse topics as Nature Photography, Beach READ MORE
Three days left before the end of 2016.  
Your Year-End Gift to the
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society will make a difference in the conservation work at the Refuge.  From education and research to land acquisition and so much more, your gift will benefit a high cause. December 31 is only a few days away, so if you would like to make a 2016 tax-deductible gift, click below.

January 5-8: Everglades Coalition Conference 
EVCO's Annual Conference, which will be held this year in Fort Myers, seeks to raise critical, timely issues for in-depth debates in an open, accessible forum. Community leaders and political figures come to discuss their positions, pledge their support, and offer challenges to the community.  Click HERE for more information.
Lectures begin January 20, 2017. Click the logo above to learn more.
2017 Lecture Series
Photographic presentations will feature birds and other wildlife and their habitat during the upcoming lecture series. Photo by nationally renowned photographer Gerrit Vyn, who will be giving a lecture April 7.
Welcome to Subirdia, Heart of a Lion, and A Naturalist Goes Fishing: The book titles featured in the 2017 "Ding" Darling Friday Lecture Series are as intriguing as varied. 

The series takes place in the Visitor & Education Center Auditorium starting Friday, January 20, and winding up April 14. The free 12-lecture series kicks off with two consecutive READ MORE  

Thank you to our 2017 Friday Lecture Series

Make your New Year's resolution a commitment to do more nature hiking in 2017 - it's good for body and spirit. And we have just the thing to help you keep your resolution. Check out our new walking sticks. Choose from the regular wooden stick ($17.99) or the collapsible wooden travel model with pouch ($25). Both conveniently include a compass at the top. 

Stop in today to pick out yours, or contact Store Manager Jeanne Walsh at 239-472-1100 ext. 241 for more information.

All proceeds from store purchases go to benefit the conservation efforts at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. 

                      Go Wild for "Ding"  February 8, 2017
We are thrilled to have our stunning one-of-a-kind aluminum alligator-heron sculpture by artist Michael Mistler here on Refuge property until early February. Come admire it next to the handicapped lift until we move it to the Go Wild event for the live auction. 
The Go Wild for "Ding" event sells out quickly, so make your reservations today by clicking the button below.  

Go Wild for 'Ding' Sponsorship
Sponsorship is one important way the Society raises funds from this event to support conservation work at the Refuge.  
Champion Level Sponsors: 
Mark & Gretchen Banks
Wayne & Linda Boyd

Guardian Level Sponsors:   
Protector Level Sponsors:
Sarah Ashton & Jim Metzler, Mike & Terry Baldwin, Amanda Cross 

Defender Level Sponsors
Barrier Island Title Service, Doug & Sherry Gentry, Greenwood Consulting Group, Phyllis Gresham, Tree West LLC, Hank & Linda Spire

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor and joining those listed above, email or call us at 239-292-0566.

America's Best-Kept Secret

Photos courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Location: 24,700 acres in Jackson Hole, northwestern Wyoming

Totemic Fauna: Elk, Bison, Trumpeter Swan

Fun for the Family: Stop by the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Centers for interpretive displays, educational programs, and sleigh ride tickets (winter only).

Visitor's Tip: From May 1 to October 1, enjoy the beautiful multi-use paved trails along the western boundary of the refuge.  
Help Save the Island
Little Blue Herons are among the species whose habitat the Wulfert Road property acquisition will benefit. Photo by Ellen Trevor

 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 $600,000 of needed funds, so the goal is to raise the remaining dollars 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 Executive Director Birgie Miller at 239-292-0566 or by email 

Free Winter Programs - Jan 3 - April 23, 2017

Biweekly Wednesday Film Series - January 4-April 12, 2017 

Weekly Friday Lecture Series - January 20-April 14, 2017

Go Wild for "Ding" - February 8, 2017

Stokes Birding Tour (FULL)  - February 10, 2017

Volunteer Awards Luncheon - February 10, 2017

29th Annual "Ding" Darling Days - October 15-21, 2017

   To see more wildlife photos, 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.
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, Emily Koval, and Sierra Hoisington.

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