A $1,500 grant from the Hansen Foundation will enable the Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge to continue a popular education program regarding the American Bald Eagle.
The Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge strives to conserve, maintain and manage wildlife and habitat for migratory birds. The 10,788-acre reserve is located in Phillips County.
The American Bald Eagle program is offered annually in January. A representative from Operation Wildlife in Linwood, KS brings an American Bald Eagle to the refuge, along with other birds that are in the rehabilitation program. Handler Diane Johnson will present daytime programs on the birds to area school children. An evening program will be open to the public on January 19 at 7:00 p.m.
The programs will be held at the Dane G. Hansen Boy Scout Reservation, which is adjacent to the Wildlife Refuge.
Although it has been offered for 20 years, budget restrictions for 2016 threatened to eliminate this popular program, which serves between 400 and 500 people annually.
Education and the environment are among the areas of emphasis for the Hansen Foundation. The Foundation recognized the opportunity to continue a proven educational program that teaches citizens the importance of migratory birds and brings them to the Wildlife Refuge, where they can explore the prairie of northwest Kansas.
The Kirwin Area Community Foundation is facilitating the grant. The community foundation recognizes the importance of the Refuge to the area. The Refuge attracts between 40,000 and 125,000 visitors to Phillips County each year.