What's New - Friends of Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge
Short Eared Owl

Fall of 2018

We've Made Our Blinds a Bit More Cozy!

If you enjoy using the Refuge's blinds in winter, you'll be pleased to know that Friends of SGNWR Board Members John Ward and Ralph Tabor have been busy making them a bit more cozy. Rubber floor mats have been installed in each blind. The mats should make kneeling within the blinds to peer out at those owls and harriers a little warmer -- and much easier on the knees! Thank you, guys!

New Fencing

Friends of SGNWR Board Members Ralph Tabor, John Ward, and Jim Waterman have installed new fencing at the end of the driveway leading into the main parking area. A safe boundary now is provided between our pollinator garden and this area.

Awesome job, guys!

Many thanks to all our members and supporters whose generous contributions help provide improvements and enhancements such as this at our Refuge.

Summer of 2018

American Kestrel Banding

All members of the Friends of SGNWR were invited vi email to participate in the  American Kestrel banding sessions that Raptor Biologist Zach Smith conducted at the Refuge in June 2018.

This opportunity was not available to the general public as the number of participants was limited by USFWS.

We were delighted to invite our FoSGNWR members as well as the New York State Young Birders Club. Along with quite a few Young Birders, it was wonderful to see so many of our Friends enjoying this exciting and informative event. A memorable time was had by all!

Spring of 2018

New Bluebird Houses

Earth Day 2018 was celebrated by some much-needed replacement of a number of the bluebird houses. We are sure the birds are enjoying their upgraded homes!

That's one of the beautiful new bluebird houses on the left with an "older model" on the right. You might be wondering why the houses are "doubled up" with two in such close proximity. It's because tree swallows won't nest so closely to one another, but they won't mind having bluebirds as neighbors. So, one box might house tree swallows, but then they'll leave the one next door for bluebirds to inhabit. Both species are so beautiful to watch.

Many thanks to USFWS Volunteer Scott Lenhart and FOSGNWR board members Clay Spencer and John Ward for all their efforts. Special thanks go to FOSGNWR Guardian Stephen Schumacher for the great craftsmanship he poured into creating these beautiful bird houses as well as to all those who volunteer, donate, and support our Refuge in so many ways. We're grateful to you all!

Fall of 2017

Raptor Day, October 2017

Image © Jess Deitz
Image © Jess Deitz

Thank you for coming to Raptor Day 2017.

Experiencing your smiles and happiness makes the work we do even more worth it. We appreciate your generous contributions and the respect you gave to the Refuge grounds and Raptors.

A very special thank you to Annie Mardiney and friends of Wild Mountain Birds. It’s always a treat when Annie comes to visit! Follow Wild mountain birds to stay informed about their great work and see where they're headed next.

Thank you to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for providing a beautiful place such as the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge for all to enjoy.

We appreciate the great work behind the scenes of our President, Scott Lenhart, Social Media Director, Susan Ward and Treasurer, Clay Spencer.

Last but not least thank you for the hard work of our Volunteers assisting an estimated 500 people for the day:  Scott Lenhart USFWS (Vol.), and Anita Falcone.

A special shout out to Denise, an event goer visiting with her Granddaughter who jumped right in to help with parking.. thankful to have you as a part of our team for the day!      

Don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook Page and subscribe to our Events!

See you next time

More exciting news coming soon!

Summer of 2017

Thanks to Friends contributions, we've purchased a new Bird Blind for the Refuge!

Additionally, our existing Bird Blinds have been upgraded with Hornet Spray, Coat Hangers and new Roofs.

We would also like to thank USFWS Volunteers Ralph Tabor and Scott Lenhart for their work in completing the upgrades.


A new Pollinator Garden was made possible by John Burroughs Natural History Society, Kalleco Plant NurseryFriends of the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR and USFWS Volunteers.

Throughout the Summer, Guardian Members and Volunteers have contributed towards watering and weeding to keep the garden thriving. More than a dozen Monarch Caterpillars were seen enjoying their new space this Summer!

Enjoy this time-lapse of the install.

Thank you to all for your generous contributions!

Spring of 2017

Thank you to Clay Spencer for this new Screech Owl Box.. Look for it at the Refuge!

Bluebird Nesting Boxes have been donated by Friends member Stephen Schumacher and members of the Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club! The guests are loving their new homes. 

Thanks to all who Volunteered for the Earth Day cleanup..

The Refuge looks fantastic!

Volunteers did some Spring cleaning and repairs on our existing Bluebird Boxes. What a fun day!

Thank you to all who participated and to USFWS (Vol.) Ralph Tabor for leading the group.

Image © Jess Deitz