Anyone who has been to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge in Quogue knows how much the 305-acre nature preserve has to offer from it's 7 miles of hiking trails, to its cast of 11 resident creatures and programs and events.
According to Marisa Nelson, assistant director of the refuge since 2003, 2,000 families enjoy the facilities so much that they have opted to support it by purchasing an annual membership, which provides them with discounts to many of the 270 plus programs offered at the site, including full-moon hikes, Earth Yoga, movie nights, the popular spooky walk, cross-country skiing, birthday parties and educational events.
Memberships holders also get priority for the refuge's popular children's camps, which run in the summer and winter.
Nelson, assistant director of the refuge, said it is the memberships that not only help keep the non-profit refuge's trails and nature center, which was once owned by the Quogue Ice Company, open to the public free of charge 365 days a year, but to also fund its programs for the public and schools.
The refuge said Nelson has an annual operating budget of $400,000 and memberships help fund a large portion of that budget with the annual summer gala and fundraisers and grants helping to defray costs further.
Donations she said, have dwindled in recent years due to the economy.
"People give what they can afford," she said.
This year, the refuge is hoping to raise between $65,000 and $100,000 through memberships.
Membership prices are set at $35 for a family, $25 for an individual. Other membership options are available including a friend membership $50; supporter $100; protector $25; patron $500; guardian $1,000; underwriter $2,500 and benefactor $5,000 and up.
"Because the refuge is such a fantastic place that is open every day to everyone free of charge, it is a great place to support. It provides so much to the community, said Nelson.
A membership application form is attached to this article as a PDF. It can be downloaded and mailed to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge 3 Old Country Road, PO Box 492 Quogue, NY 11957.
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