INDIAN RIVER COUNTY ― Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge was founded by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 as the first national wildlife refuge.

Staff and volunteers at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge will celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week by welcoming visitors during a series of meet and greets, to share information about birds and other wildlife found at the refuge and answer any questions.

The meet and greets will be on Centennial Trail Oct. 12-15 from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

On Oct. 11 and Oct. 16, meet and greets will be at Golden Sands Park, 10350 State Road A1A, from 10:30 a.m. to1:30 p.m. Visitors can learn about sea turtle nesting.

Golden Sands Park is part of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, which spans 20.5 miles along the Atlantic coast between Melbourne Beach in Brevard County and Wabasso Beach in Indian River County. Archie Carr NWR hosts the largest nesting population of loggerhead and green sea turtles in the United States.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provides vital habitat for thousands of native species. Refuge Week provides an opportunity to see why millions of people visit refuges each year for hiking, bird watching, and other permitted activities.

Another way to observe National Wildlife Refuge Week is to sign up for the Walk for the Wild 5K Challenge. Participants commit to walk or run 5K, or 3.1 miles, at their favorite wildlife refuge beginning the week of Oct. 9, which is Urban Wildlife Conservation Day. The goal is to connect people and nature on behalf of as many National Wildlife Refuges as possible.

For more information on the Challenge and to sign up, visit www.virtualrunningclub.com/events/walk-for-the-wild.

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Historic Jungle Trail east of Sebastian, off of U.S Highway A1A, 3.7 miles north of Wabasso Beach Road/CR 510, or 3.3 miles south of Sebastian Inlet.

For more information, call (772) 581-5557.

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