CATCH ONE OF THE CELEBRATIONS!
The Dungeness Wildlife Refuge will have a year-long, public celebration to help commemorate its 100th anniversary in 2015. Everyone is welcome! A short version of the history of the refuge: On January 20, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed an Executive Order establishing the Dungeness Spit Reservation as “…a refuge, preserve, and breeding ground for native birds.” In 1940 the Reservation’s name changed to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. One hundred years later, celebrations for the Refuge are planned with a series of educational events throughout 2015.
See the 2015 Schedule of events and join the commemoration of 100 years of working for wildlife. There are several birding walks during the year, a kid’s day on June 20 with hands-on activities, and two geology walks on July 18. We are all waiting for July to learn more about the geology of the Olympic Peninsula and why it’s such a magnet for birds and other animals.
If you are planning to include a visit to the Refuge on an upcoming trip to the Olympic Peninsula, the Refuge opens at sunrise and closes ½ hour before sunset daily. An entrance fee of $3.00 is required. A minimal amount to take in this wonderful place. Children 15 and younger are free. And, please, no pets are allowed. We want the ‘locals’ to have run of the place – the local deer, otter, nesting birds and so on!
Here’s a kind of fuzzy map, but you can get the general lay of the land. Accordihng to Wikipedia, Dungeness Spit is a 5.5-mile (8.9 km) long sand spit and the longest natural sand spit in the United States. The lighthouse at the end of the spit was once run by United States Coast Guard, but in 1976 an automatic light was installed, and since 1994 it has been staffed and maintained by the volunteer ‘New Dungeness Light Station Association’. If you are interested in being a lighthouse keeper for a week, check out the website. The spit is open to the public year around.
It was first found by Europeans during the Spanish 1790 Quimper expedition. The name ‘Dungeness’ comes from the Dungeness headland in England. The spit was named by explorer George Vancouver in 1792, who wrote: “The low sandy point of land, which from its great resemblance to Dungeness in the British Channel, I called New Dungeness.” We’ll go along with the Wikipedia description of our past and heritage of the spit.