Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge Hosts Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival on May 28
The annual event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge and will celebrate horseshoe crabs, shorebirds and other natural resources, while encouraging citizen awareness and participation in wildlife-dependent recreation.
Lisa Sumstine, executive director at the Milton Chamber of Commerce, says the event started through a partnership between the Milton Chamber of Commerce and Primehook.
“We were looking to educate people and raise awareness of the Prime Hook facilities, and in Milton, we were looking to have people come to the town and enjoy Broadkill River,” Sumstine said.
During Saturday’s event, Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center will be open all day.
Throughout the day, guests can enjoy horseshoe crab presentations, trail walks, build-your-own bird feeder activities, canoe trips, trips to the gift shop and environmental education tent, as well as bird migration games for kids.
Jennifer McAndrews, park ranger at Prime Hook, says the event is educational and entertaining, offering fun for the whole family.
“It’s important to get the community aware of what is going on in the environment and why it’s here which is to provide habitat for animals and birds,” McAndrews said. “The community can feel special about having something like this close by and then they can come back and enjoy it.”
At 2:30 p.m., a group of people will carpool over to Slaughter Beach for horseshoe crab and shorebird watching. Throughout the duration at Slaughter Beach, Prime Hook volunteers will lead a guided tour, let guests use spotting scopes to get a better look at the crabs and birds, identify various birds and answer questions.
The Delaware Bay area is known as a haven for horseshoe crabs, which is why Sumstine and McAndrews believe the public needs to be educated.
“The horseshoe crabs come in and spawn, then go back out,” Sumstine said. “The purpose of this event is to raise awareness and education, and have a family, community day and give them an opportunity to check out the town.”
To learn more about Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge, go to www.fws.gov/refuge/Prime_Hook.