Guided walks, tracking, vernal pool programs, turtle program, bird walks, frog surveys, monarch butterfly tagging, fotofun-a-thon, art programs, nighthawk watch, Christmas bird count, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
For all programs and further information plus reservation, please contact Rona Balco per phone - 978-779-2259.
For information on birds, visit our "Tips and Links" and "Educational Programs".
If you are interested in volunteering, we need you! Contact Rona Balco at (978) 779-2259.
View the Calendar for a quick update of our current programs.
Take part in the Nature Photo Contest.
Looking at the beautiful photos in the Slide Show might inspire you to take out your camera and come to the Oxbow. To take part in the Photo Contest, the photos should be taken at the Oxbow Refuge during this winter. Enter one of the following levels:  Amateur (18 years old and up with camera experience);  Professional;  Youth (13 to 17 years old);  Children (younger than 17). You may enter up to three nature photos, each one in a different category. Choose from the following Categories: (1) invertebrate animals; (2) vertebrate animals; (3) plants; (4) landscape or scenic; (5) abstract; (6) people enjoying nature and (7) black & white. Only minor adjustments to photos will be accepted. No alterations beyond standard optimization.
For more about the contest and to enter the photos, contact Dr. Richard Brown at DrRichardDBrown@aol.com. Also visit "Tips and Links".
For attending events and for information regarding directions and parking, contact Rona at 978-779-2259. We urge you to leave your telephone number with her or email Ada at firstname.lastname@example.org to enable us to reach you in case of cancellation of the program.
Our Annual New Year's Day Walk will take place at noon. Since there is a good chance that the way to the parking lot and the lot itself will be icy, the meeting place for the walk will be the area just across the railroad tracks at the end of Still River Depot Road in Harvard. It is suggested to wear appropriate footwear and bring hiking poles.
On Sunday, December 20, we will join many other birders in the annual Christmas Bird Count. This event is organized by the National Audubon Society, and is described by the organization as “The nation’s longest-running citizen science bird project that fuels Audubon science year-round”. The following is taken from the Society’s website: “Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a "Christmas Bird Census"-that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.” “Prior to the turn of the 20th century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt": They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.” “From December 14 through January 5 each year tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas brave snow, wind, or rain, and take part in the effort. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations - and to help guide conservation action.”
Google “Christmas Bird Count” and you will be led to the Audubon site, which has much fascinating information.
Three in One, in and around the Refuge’s new Pavilion on Hospital Road in Devens! These events provide a unique opportunity to experience what has happened and what is available in this previously unknown part of the Oxbow Refuge! On Saturday, October 24, the Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge will take place, starting at 2:00pm. These three programs are free and open to the public.
Before the meeting, at 1:00 pm, there will be a guided bird walk to one of the backwaters nearby. Binocular are recommended. Gather in the parking lot at the pavilion.
After a short business meeting, there will be a brief presentation by Wilson Andres Acuna on his folded paper insects, some of which are on display in the pavilion. He will explain how and why he created these amazing replicas from the world of Arthropods.
Walk, Talk and Listen with our guide, Stephen DeFlorio. Stephen will explore many of the common plants and their uses with emphasis on wild edibles around the refuge's new pavilion. There will be a variety of resources to browse through, and some recipes will be available. Ethnobotany is the scientific study of the ways many cultures traditionally use/used plants for food, clothing, shelter, medicine, etc. Stephen is a naturalist/teacher who likes to show people that you could survive in the wild even during the fall. He will point out what to look for and will explain what you can do with the plants, or nuts and seeds. He will also tell which edibles to leave alone because of their rarity. There will be some cooking instructions, recipes, and, maybe, some samples to taste. Look under Educational Programs for Stephen's biography. The weather is supposed to be typical for October: sunny but cool.
According to Fish & Wildlife's Refuge Rules, to protect the natural habitat it will not be possible to do any actual gathering.
A tour of the area surrounding the pavilion will take place after the annual meeting, around 4:00pm. This walk will include the boardwalk to the coming canoe launch.
Information about the trails in the area will be available.