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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

40th Anniversary of Refuge Society Begins Next Month

The nonprofit “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) will celebrate its 40th anniversary beginning October 6 on Sanibel Island. Special activities and events to be held during the following year will include revealing a new logo; the return of Project Refuge: A Couture Fashion Show Using Trash; a roseate spoonbill scavenger hunt in partnership with island businesses; launch of the refuge’s own limited-edition Wild Daze Pilsner beer; four new specialty items (one for each decade) in the Nature Store; art exhibitions; lectures; and other special events.

DDWS accomplishments to date include establishing the Visitor and Education Center, the Wildlife on Wheels mobile classroom and the Wildlife Education Boardwalk; upgrading and adding many exhibits and trails; completion of the award-winning America’s Best Restroom; installing solar panels on refuge buildings; and acquiring more then 92 acres of land on Sanibel.

In August, the refuge became the first in the country to offer a spotting scope for colorblind visitors at the Wildlife Drive observation tower. EnChroma eyeglasses are available at the refuge for guests with color vision deficiency to borrow during visits.

Location: 1 Wildlife Dr. For more information, visit