Friends of Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge


Located west of Marion, Illinois, on the northern edge of the Ozark foothills, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest refuges in the Great Lakes/Big Rivers Region. Established in 1947, the 43,890-acre Refuge includes three man-made lakes totaling 8,700 surface acres. The Refuge landscape also includes hardwood and pine forests, croplands, grasslands, wetlands, rolling hills, and rugged terrain with slopes of 24 percent. The 4,050-acre Crab Orchard Wilderness, the first wilderness area designated in the State of Illinois, is within the Refuge Crab Orchard Refuge is unique in the National Wildlife Refuge System in having an industrial program that the Refuge hosts an estimated 1.2 million visitors annually, and its recreation programs contribute $25 million to the local tourism economy. Public use opportunities at the Refuge include an auto tour route, hiking trails, hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and interpretation, boating, swimming, camping, and picnicking

Photo Contest Winners

Jan 15, 2016

CONGRATULATIONS to the WINNERS OF THE PHOTO CONTEST! And thanks to all who entered. There were so many gorgeous entries. It really gave our judges a challenge to select the winners! Pictured below are: First place Youth "Just hang in there" by Kelsee Dodd, First place Wildlife "Inquiring Minds" by Jeremy Schumacher, First place Landscape "Buren Falls" by Jeremy Schumacher, First place Plants "Lily Reflection" by Miriam Link-Mullison, First place Taken on the Refuge "Song of Spring" by Ron Clark, the Refuge Choice Award "You Looking at Me" by Bob Erxleben, and our Best In Show "Connection" by Theresa Beavers.

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Crab Orchard NWR Bald Eagle Tours

Dec 15, 2015

Join us for the Crab Orchard NWR Bald Eagle tours the last two weekends in January.

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8588 Route 148
Marion, IL 62959
618-998-5933

Carbondale, IL
Last Updated on May 27, 2:57 AM CDT
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