Savannah National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)
“One of the volunteer activities that I enjoy the most is staffing the Information Desk and working the register at The Gator Hole, the book and nature store at the Savannah NWR Visitor Center. I have met visitors from around the world and shared with them my love of the refuge system and the wildlife and wildlife habitat that our refuges protect.” — Dot Bambach, board member emeritus Ogeechee Audubon Society"
The Gator Hole, run by the Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges, provides a steady stream of revenue which supports projects on all seven of our local national wildlife refuges, while offering quality products to refuge visitors. Most of the seven refuges have been certified as Important Bird Areas (IBA) by National Audubon, which brings thousands of visitors to the refuges each year.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) policy prohibits uniformed staff from ringing up sales or handling nature store funds. This could lead to the closing of The Gator Hole on days when no volunteer is on site to operate the register. Therefore, the refuge needs more volunteers to staff the information desk and the store.
Ogeechee Audubon has a rich history of volunteering with the Savannah NWR and we encourage our members to continue that tradition. If you have not volunteered before or it’s been awhile since you have, please consider signing up for a training session and shadowing a current volunteer for a shift or two. There are always FWS staff on-site to assist with any problems or questions.
There are two shifts a day (9 am to 12:30 and 12:30 to 4 pm) Monday through Saturday.
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Savannah NWR Visitor Center Information
Savannah NWR Visitor Center hours are Monday thru Saturday from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (closed Federal holidays). The Visitor Center has an exhibit of “critters” of the Refuge System, a 10-minute movie about the refuge system, a bookstore/gift shop, volunteers to assist with information, a brochure about the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, with a map of the areas that may be hiked/biked. There are also trails at the Visitor Center to walk and enjoy the birds and animals, plus a seating area with a watering area and bird feeders.
NOTE: The Refuge is open from sunrise to sunset daily.
There is also a butterfly garden that was planted and is maintained by the Low Country Master Gardener Association, led by Michelle Baldwin. The group also maintains the butterfly garden at Pinckney Island NWR.