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Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

A pair of manatees.  

Junior Ranger Program
Titusville, Florida
Summer 2016 — FREE

  Florida Scrub-jay

Education Ranger at Merritt Island NWR
The junior ranger program is intended to connect children to the natural world. Parents and children will work together to learn about and build an appreciation of the refuge and the animals and plants that inhabit it. Each program will start in the auditorium in the visitor center and will run 1.5 to 2 hours (may include being outdoors).

To receive a junior ranger certificate and badge a child must:

  1. Attend 3 out of 5 scheduled programs and complete an independent project.
  2. Attend 2 out of 5 scheduled programs and complete 2 independent projects.
  3. Independent Projects:
  4. 1. Trash pick-up
  5. 2. Complete the Junior Ranger Booklet
  6. 3. GPS Scavenger Hunt (for loan in the Visitor Center)
  7. 4. Junior rangers can develop their own projects

Jr. Ranger Program Schedule:

Endangered Species of Scrub Habitats
June 11 at 10 am
Jr. Rangers will learn about the importance of scrub habitats and the animals that live there. They will learn how the scrub benefits animals such as the Florida Scrub Jay, Gopher Tortoise, and the Indigo Snake. They will also create a related craft and walk along the Scrub Ridge Trail.

Marine Study and Seinings
June 25 at 10 am
Jr. Rangers will learn about the animals and plants that live in the Indian River Lagoon. They will enter the lagoon and use a seine net to capture, study, and then release marine life. They will also learn about mangroves.
Students and parents will need to wear closed toed shoes, bring a change of clothes, towel, sunscreen, insect repellent, and drinking water.

All About Manateess
July 9 at 10 am
Jr. Rangers will learn about the endangered manatee, make a manatee craft, and visit the manatee deck to view wild manatees.

Seeing the Sea Turtless
July 23 at 10 am
Jr. Rangers will learn about the threatened sea turtles and the harmful impacts on them. They will participate in an activity to see the negative impacts on sea turtles and visit the beach and see a sea turtle nest.

All About Reptiles & Awards Ceremony
August 13 at 10 am
Jr. Rangers will learn about alligators, the difference between snakes and lizards, and the various reptiles found on the refuge.
Jr. Rangers should bring their independent projects and completed program checklist. If the Jr. Ranger completed the requirements they will receive a certificate and badge. If you cannot attend, please see Ranger Kimlynn to receive your certificate and badge.

The Visitor Center is located on SR 402, 5 miles east of U.S. 1 in Titusville.

For Refuge information please contact Visitors Services Manager Kimberly King-Wrenn at 321-861-0668 or by email at:

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On March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an Executive Order creating Pelican Island as the country's first national wildlife refuge. Roosevelt went on to establish an additional 54 national wildlife refuges during his two terms and set historic conservation values for America. These values have grown into a system, which today, consists of 563 National Wildlife Refuges on more than 150 million acres of America's most important wildlife habitat.

As part of its mission, the Service manages 563 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System covering 150 million acres. These areas comprise the National Wildlife Refuge System, the world's largest collection of lands and waters set aside specifically for fish and wildlife. The majority of these lands, 77 million acres are in Alaska, while 54 million acres are part of three marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean. The remaining acres are spread across the other 49 states and several United States territories. In addition to refuges, the Service manages thousands of small wetlands, 38 wetland management districts, 70 national fish hatcheries, 65 fishery resource offices, and 81 ecological services field stations.

The Service enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.