Interior celebrates national wildlife refuges in urban areas

U.S. Congress designates Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: September 28, 2018

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives recognized the value of wildlife refuges in urban areas through bipartisan resolutions designating Sept. 29, 2018 as Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day to highlight the more than 100 urban wildlife refuges across the country.

"Kids growing up in urban areas should have the same opportunities to hunt, fish, and learn about nature as kids growing up in rural parts of our country,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is home to dozens of urban wildlife refuges in places like Philadelphia, Denver, New York, San Diego, and Richmond. I encourage Americans of all ages to get outside and enjoy these urban oases. I commend Senators Toomey and Bennet, and Representatives Wittman and Jeffries for their leadership ."

In order to be an urban national wildlife refuge, it must be within 25 miles of a city of 250,000 people. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Urban Wildlife Conservation Program was created to introduce Americans living in densely populated areas to the over 100 national wildlife refuges near urban areas.

Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Aurelia Skipwith is slated to kick off the inaugural celebration of Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Seventeen other wildlife refuges near urban centers across the country are hosting events for the public to celebrate this day, including Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

“By celebrating Urban National Wildlife Refuge Day, we are highlighting the outdoor opportunities that are available on the doorstep of many of the nation’s urban and suburban residents,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Skipwith. “Urban refuges are places for families to gather and enjoy the outdoors, and places to reach out to the next generation of anglers and hunters, while providing safe access.”

In order to increase access to national wild refuges near urban communities, the Service works to support partnerships with other federal urban conservation initiatives such as the Urban Waters Federal Partnership and federal agencies such as the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment