is an independent, non-profit group dedicated to supporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge System. Our mission is to promote awareness of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Alamosa, Baca, and Monte Vista) through education, assisting in refuge projects, and supporting visitor services. Learn more here about the Refuges.
More About Us:
The Friends formed in 1999. The Friends partner with the Refuge Complex and other local entities to plan and operate the annual Monte Vista Crane Festival, which brings thousands of visitors from all over the world to the San Luis Valley. Among our many projects, the Friends have contributed to the building of the Meadow Lark Trail on the Monte Vista NWR, the Discovery Room at the Alamosa NWR, many years of Kid's Crane Festivals, and funded a critical Crane viewing parking area on the Monte Vista Refuge. We help the refuge with the Friends and Neighbors Picnic every year, informing the neighbors about the latest happenings.
The Friends were formed in 2000 by a small dedicated group. Twenty years later, we are still going strong and working with our refuges to fulfill their mission. To date, the Friends have contributed to the building of the Meadow Lark Trail on the Monte Vista NWR, the Discovery Room at the Alamosa NWR, many years of Kid’s Crane Festivals, and the Monte Vista Crane Festival. We also assist the refuge with the yearly Friends and Neighbors Picnic that brings the neighbors of the refuge up to date on the refuge happenings. Friends members worked hard to advocate for the establishment of the Baca NWR in 2005. Friends volunteers stock and staff the bookstore at the Alamosa Refuge. Your membership and donations support these efforts.
Many Friends members have participated in the Monte Vista NWR Christmas bird count. We publish bi-annual newsletters. Since 2015, We are the lead organizers of the Monte Vista Crane Festival. Each year we have workdays on one of the three refuges. The perks for members are camaraderie, opportunity for outdoor and wildlife related activities, community service, and behind the scene Refuge tours.