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Welcome to the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Inc.



NYS Purple Martin Project

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pdf Iroquois Observations is under way! Come out to the refuge and participate in many activities for the whole family.

Trail Guide-by-Cell

Swallow Hollow is the most utilized trail at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. The one mile loop is designed so that in one mile of trail, a hiker can see almost every habitat type available on the refuge, but what is the trail trying to teach you? What are the woods, swamps, and wildlife attempting to relay? 
Dr. Noonan of Canisius College, already involved in the implementation of interpretative signs along Swallow Hollow as well as running environmental education programs on the trail, has now added a new dimension – Guide-by Cell. Dr. Noonan has partnered with the Refuge to pilot a new interpretive program using the Guide-by-Cell technology. As part of this pilot project there are a series of 13 stations where a guest can stop, pull out their cell phone, call a phone number, punch in the code at the station, and listen to a bit of information about the part of the trail he or she is observing. Dr. Noonan and the Ambassadors carefully crafted the script for each station so that the information adds to the experience of being out on the trail.  
The initial stations were set up in early June using temporary plaques as the stations along the trail. This cell phone interpretative program has been a success almost right off the bat with 74 unique callers the first two weeks, and a total of 160 unique callers making 428 calls, overall thus far. So if you have not yet tried it, please stop by Swallow Hollow to give a listen. The useful information provided via this program will last throughout the change of season.

The Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. (FINWR) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and to helping the community understand its mission and goals.

FINWR has secured funding from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Centennial Legacy Fund, the Wild Birds Unlimited Pathways to Nature Program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Iroquois Job Corp, as well as help from our members. More funding is needed. FINWR is able to raise funds to be allocated for specific, much-needed projects on the refuge.

Reasons for Supporting Us,
The Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Inc

  • Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (INWR) is the ONLY National Wildlife Refuge in Western New York
  • INWR is visited by an estimated 40,000 people each year. These visitors include hikers, photographers, bird watchers, hunters, fishermen, and students of conservation and wildlife.
  • Donations to FINWR may qualify for matching funds.
  • Donations are tax deductible. FINWR is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Check with your tax advisor.

Projects Completed or initiated by Friends of Iroquois NWR:

  • Provided camera equipment so that the public and staff can view live Kestrels, bluebirds and tree swallows during the breeding and nesting season with no disturbance to the birds.
  • Sponsoring interns for refuge related projects.
  • Swallow Hollow Nature Trail completed and dedicated. FINWR provided partnerships, financing, planning and volunteer hours to complete this $500,000 project, which is now used for pleasure and educational programs. In 2013, the interpretive panels were replaced.
  • Provided benches and rehabilitation to Kanyoo Trail so that visitors can view wildlife and nature. Partnered with the Boy Scouts, Iroquois Job Corps, and HSBC for this project. Interpretive signs created and installed.
  • Water control structure purchased and installed on Cayuga sub-impoundment to enhance shore bird habitat and wildlife viewing.
  • Supporting the Canisius Ambassadors in Conservation program which has introduced approximately 12,000 school children to the N.W. Refuge System, giving them an understanding of nature, biodiversity and conservation. In 2013, 1,757 students from 32 schools visited during 24 days.
  • Funded the drilling of a well which monitors ground water levels.
  • Sponsoring educational opportunities for volunteers and staff.
  • Volunteers generally contribute several thousand hours of service each year.
  • FINWR continues to sponsor special events such as the Youth Fishing Derby, the Spring Into Nature Open House, Audubon Iroquois Observations program, Youth Waterfowl Orientation Day, Annual Photo Contest, the Take A Kid Along program, Purple Martin Program, Blue Bird Banding, and a roadside trash pickup around INWR.
  • In 2014, FINWR is planning to support additionally a Seneca Pool Restoration and new interpretive trail available near the Visitor Center.
  • The Flyway Nature Store provides nature related gifts and books with profits being used to support the projects and mission of the refuge.


The 2015-16 Annual FINWR Amateur Photo Contest rules and submission form are here!

Past Photo Contest Winners

Buy a Stamp - Save a Wetland

FINWR can use your help in many interesting ways. Opportunities for donating your time are available for those that like to reach out and meet other people as well as for those that like to work behind the scenes. Please look for opportunities in our latest newslettter, or contact the refuge at (585)-948-5445 or click on join now.

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Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
1101 Casey Road
Basom, New York 14013
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