Archived Events

2020 Annual Meeting Slideshow

2019 Purple Martin Refuge Nesting Results

2019 Purple Martins of Plum Island Breeding Season Tally:

Lot #1:  North Rack - 3rd season at this site:
Gourds: 24
Eggs: 26
Fledged Young 22  [2018 - 6 young fledged]
Nonviable eggs: 4

Lot #1:  South Rack:
Gourds: 18
Young Fledged: 34  [2018 - 49 young fledged]
Nonviable Eggs: 2

North End Site at the Old PRNWR HQ [Plum Island Lighthouse]:

Gourds: 24
Young Fledged:  28    [2018 - 35 young fledged]
Nonviable Eggs:  11
Expired Young:  8

Information courtesy of Sue McGrath.

Annual Meeting of the Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, February 8, 2020.
Link to the PowerPoint presentation given by the Refuge Director at the meeting.
The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge took place on Saturday, February 8, 2020.  During his talk, Bill Gette (President) reviewed the Friends many accomplishments during 2019 and outlined the Friends' priorities for the current year.
In early 2020, the Friends committed to assist refuge staff by undertaking maintenance projects on the refuge to enhance safety and improve the visitor experience.  In total, the Friends contributed 496 hours of labor on a variety of projects.  Maintenance efforts included replacing 1,254 feet of decaying railings on the boardwalks at parking lots #1 and #3, rejuvenating the native plant gardens at refuge headquarters, clearing and cutting back vegetation along refuge trails, and replacing the boardwalk and deck at refuge headquarters.
The Friends sponsored ten free educational programs on a variety of subjects, including Newburyport Shipbuilding and Shipyards, Surfcasting 101, and Ducks of New England.  Our program offerings were designed to attract a broad audience from surrounding communities.
The project that got the greatest community support was our boardwalk replacement effort at parking lot #1.  To replace the aging boardwalk that runs from the parking lot to the beach, the Friends asked for contributions for engraved replacement planks.  Over 500 donors contributed to our effort, and now the refuge has a beautiful new walkway..  Through the generous support of nature enthusiasts, beach goes, fishermen, and the general public, not only do we have a new boardwalk but the Friends raised $40,000.  The Friends gave this money to the refuge to help fund the reconstruction of the trail system at the Hellcat Wildlife Observation Area.
For the current year, the Friends has again committed to undertake maintenance projects, organize beach cleanups, and sponsor free educational programs.
But our biggest new effort is to sponsor a refuge Internship Program for individuals interested in careers in conservation and education.  The Friends have committed to raise $7,200 to fund an intern this coming summer for 10 to 12 weeks.  Not only will the intern gain valuable work experience, but the refuge staff receive much needed help.
You can help.  We would very much appreciate your donation in support of the Intern Program.  Since the Friends is an all-volunteer organization without a paid staff, we can commit that 100% of your donation will go to the Intern Program.  Thank you for your help
Bill Gette,  President

Hellcat Marsh Loop Reopening (Aug 2019)

Aug 27, 2019

Breaking News:

The Hellcat Boardwalk is now fully reopened with the completion of the new  marsh "loop" section. This former loop walk is now an "out and back" trail.

Please enjoy a brief video courtesy of Ranger Matt Poole.  

Hellcat Marsh Loop Reopening

“Ducks of New England Presented by Bill Gette"

November 13, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Presented by Bill Gette By early November, large numbers of ducks migrate from their breeding areas in northern New England and Canada and move to area lakes, rivers, salt marshes, and coastal waters. During his PowerPoint lecture, Bill Gette will discuss the field marks and behavioral characteristics that are key to duck identification. Bill will discuss plumages and habitat preferences, and tell you where to go to find the many species that overwinter on the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and other sites within an hour’s drive of Newburyport.

Bill Gette, current President of the Friends of Parker River NWR, began leading area, domestic U.S., and international travel programs for Mass Audubon in 1986. Since then, he has traveled to all seven continents. He joined Mass Audubon full time in 1996 as the Founding Director of the Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport, developing and leading several rigorous bird-related certification programs both here and in Belize. Bill retired from Mass Audubon in February 2016 but remains very active, leading natural history travel programs and lecturing.

Bill enjoys sharing his photographs and travel experiences through his PowerPoint presentation

Ducks of NE Flyer

Friends Boardwalk Plank Fundraiser Complete

Friends Boardwalk Plank Fundraiser     ~UPDATE~

We have reached the end of our plank fundraiser and as such we are no longer accepting donations for this fundraiser.

Thank you everyone for your support! What a wonderful success.