Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge welcomed fall with its annual Autumn with the Animals festival event on Sept.19, an opportunity for guests to learn about animals and the environment.
The event has been held annually for about 20 years and is organized by the education department at the Medford refuge as a way to combine outdoor activities such as canoeing on Cedar Run Lake with educational programs.
Joining the day were other environmental organizations, such as Burlington County Parks, The Wetlands Institute and New Jersey Audubon-Nature Center of Cape May. Building kits were provided by Home Depot in Berlin and the Star Child Nature School offered a different perspective on the sciences.
The benefit of welcoming different environmental organizations is that each vendor offers a specific perspective for guests to learn about those entities, according to Erin Kiefer-Rounds, director of education at the refuge.
The festival also offered other ways for guests to get involved with nature and animals, with the help of volunteers and the education department. There were opportunities to explore the Hunters of the Sky (Raptor) Educational Program, the Guided Wildlife Housing Area Hike and the Reptile Encounter program, to name a few programs highlighted at the event.
“We are hoping to teach people a little bit more about all the things we have to offer,” Kiefer-Rounds said, “Our ultimate goal is to introduce people to stuff that they didn’t have an opportunity to be around previously,”
She also addressed why events like Autumn with the Animals are so important for people of all ages to understand the many aspects of nature.
“It might be a lot of fun, but were also hoping that they get a love of nature out of these sorts of activities,” Kiefer-Rounds noted
Proceeds from the refuge event help support the refuge’s continuous mission to preserve and protect New Jersey’s wildlife and habitats.
To learn more about other upcoming events at the refuge, visit https://www.cedarrun.org/.