Want to know where is the nearest national wildlife refuge and what can you do for fun there? Well, now there is an iphone app for that and it’s free to download until April 1.
“Myrefuge,” a mobile application by Zaia Design, helps outdoor enthusiasts explore natural areas and learn what resources refuges offer.
It features searchable maps and instant information on bird watching, trails and historic sites. The app currently showcases 59 of the country’s 556 national wildlife refuges, including the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwest Oklahoma, but more are continually being added.
For each refuge on the app, detailed maps show trails, recreational facilities such as photo blinds, hunting blinds and fishing areas, and nearby public roads. The app tells viewers, for example, about the length of auto tour routes and identifies hiking trails by trail length and location. The app also tells you how near you are to any featured refuge.
You can also pick up highlights of a refuge’s history, culture or wildlife setting along with birding information and safety tips.
Jim Kurth, chief of the Refuge System, part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said the app is “one of many exciting new ways the Refuge System is finding to engage people, especially young people, in appreciating recreation in natural settings. The refuge system conserves our wildlife heritage. Our lives are all richer for making that connection.”
The MyRefuge app was conceived by Eugene Marino, cultural resources program manager for the refuge system. “The idea is to give people a new way to learn about cultural resources and other activities we offer,” he said.
National wildlife refuges not only conserve America’s wildlife habitat but they also preserve archaeological sites, museum collections of artifacts, and historic homes and lighthouses.
More than 320 refuges offer hunting and fishing. Many also contain hiking and canoe trails.