During Grand Opening ceremonies dedicating the new Iroquois Refuge Visitor Center, guest speakers provided in words what visitors can see, enjoy and learn about in the new facility at 1101 Casey Road in Basom.
Native American Wayne Abrams offered a formal opening in his native tongue, followed with an American English version, which exalted the Creator’s bounty of earth and water to all that allows mankind to gather and hold in esteem creations such as the Iroquois Refuge forests, fields, lands and waters.
Gordon Batcheller, the DEC’s chief wildlife biologist, looking around the many exhibits now open for all to see, said, “I love this space. People come from all over the world to see this place. We all should be proud of it.”
Batcheller keyed in on the function of the center and the refuge with the remark, “This is where conservation is happening.” He concluded his comments with the overview: “The center invites visitors to relate to nature; it will change lives.”
Sharon Marino, deputy regional chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and Tom Roster, Iroquois Refuge manager, cited the many current and retired staffers who assist visitors in the enjoyment of the refuge.
A special thanks went to the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge for its members’ countless hours of volunteer work on physical props and for public outreach in assisting all who visit the refuge and its center, a place well worth visiting before heading to open areas of this or any other wildlife refuge.
To view the many features of the Iroquois Refuge and get more details on the new Visitor Center, visit www.fws.gov/refuge/iroquois/. To check out the many programs and volunteer options of Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, visit friendsofiroquoisnwr.org.