Family-friendly, Free Nature Programs at Cape May National Wildlife Refuge


Ecology of the Dunes and Beach
Thursday, August 8 at 10 a.m. 

Ever wonder… what creatures live on the wild beach and dunes of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge? Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, crabs, and clams are among the many species that live here. Find out more about them by participating in the Friends of Cape May NWR’s Creatures of the Beach & Dune event at the Two Mile Beach unit. The program will start with a lecture and slide show in the Visitor Contact Station, then we’ll hike through the dunes to the beach and wee how many of these wonderful animals we can find.

This special program will be led by Dr. Ralph Boerner. Register now for this free program, which is limited to 20 participants by emailing The program is suitable for families with children. Meet in the Visitor Contact Station, 12001 Pacific Ave (Ocean Drive) in Wildwood Crest. Dress for the weather. You are encouraged to bring bug spray, sunscreen and water.  


Free Family Nature Walk
Saturday, August 10 at 9 a.m.

Friends of Cape May NWR are continuing their fun, free, family-friendly bird walks all summer long at 2-Mile Beach in Wildwood Crest. Look for the Free Bird walk sign where Pacific Avenue turns into Ocean Drive, on the east side of the street. Meet at the 2-Mile Visitor Center Parking Lot (just north of the gate for the former Coast Guard base).  Explore this hidden gem of undeveloped barrier island ocean beach, and learn about the amazing birds with loaner binoculars and a spotting scope.  Families with children are welcome!    


Ghost Crabs, Fiddler Crabs & Mole Crabs
Thursday, August 15 at 10 a.m.

This special walk will be led by Dr. Ralph E.J. Boerner, Professor Emeritus of Ecology (Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University), and his wife, botanist and artist Betsy Wrobel-Boerner. The Boerners will focus their beach walk on the amazing and sometimes troublesome ghost crabs and will explore the complexity of their burrows. They will also help participants identify some of the characteristic dune plants found at Two Mile Beach. Free handouts will be provided. This walk is free and perfect for all ages. As always, dress for the weather. Heavy rain cancels the event. After the walk, the public is invited to warm up in the newly-opened Nature Store at Two Mile. Please meet at the Visitors Contact Station at the Two Mile Beach Unit of Cape May National Wildlife Refuge.