By Bethany Carlson
The William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge will host a range of events on Saturday, May 10 to celebrate its 50th year. Botanists will lead tours, the history of the refuge will be showcased in photos and other displays, and a lunch will be served for $5, along with live music. The event is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a welcome at the newly opened historic Cabell Lodge at 11 a.m. by project leader Damien Miller.
The Pigeon Butte restoration area, habitat of the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly, will be reachable by vans leaving from the Fiechter House. Owl pellet dissections, fun for young and old, will be available at the Cabell Barn, along with displays of historic farming equipment. The Refuge Headquarters and Wild Goose Nature Store will offer 50th year celebration gifts and silent auction gift baskets. The event coincides with International Migratory Bird Day, and visitors may see barn swallows and rufous hummingbirds.
Events for kids include a photography scavenger hunt—arrive early to check out a camera. The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde will present a lesson on wild plant use and rope-making at the Cabell Lodge.
Located about 10 miles south of Corvallis on Highway 99W, the refuge was founded in 1964. It encompasses one of the largest remaining wet prairies in the Willamette Valley. The wetlands, deciduous forests, and white oak savannas are reachable by 12 miles of trails.
More info and a schedule of events can be found at www.fws.gov/refuge/William_L_Finley/Events/50th_Anniversary.html or by calling 541-757-7236.