(Photo of turtle fence repair volunteers by Alan Bartels)

On 2 Saturdays in June, volunteers from the Sandhills Prairie Refuge Association gathered to work at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge.  The first project was to make repairs to the Marsh Lakes Overlook Trail.  The short trail goes from a visitor contact station to a scenic overlook of the largest lake in the Sandhills.  Volunteers removed vegetation from the trail and repaired the side boards along the edges.  The event was part of National Trails Day. Some work remains to be completed.

Photo: Trail Repair by Juancarlos Giese

On the 16th, volunteers repaired turtle fences along US Highway 83 where it passes through the refuge.  The fences prevent turtles from entering the roadway and becoming road kill.  Volunteers replaced and repaired sections damaged during car accidents, filled in where erosion made gaps under the fence, removed trees starting to grow in the fence, and fixed fence by a culvert used buy turtles to pass under the road.  One of four fence locations was repaired. The refuge and Nebraska Department of Roads supplied materials.  The Sandhills Prairie Refuge Association is a non-profit assisting Fort Niobrara, Valentine, and Seier National Wildlife Refuges in historical, educational, and biological programs.  If you are interested in our group or volunteering in future projects, contact us at sandhillspra@gmail.com