Tuesday Trek: Patuxent Research Refuge
I’m Tom Barnes — you might know me from my TGIF with Tom column. And now, I’m bringing you Tuesday Trek! Each Tuesday, I’ll give you some insight about a refuge destination you might enjoy. Planning a winter vacation? Spring break? I might know the perfect spot for your upcoming travels!
Thirty minutes outside of Washington D.C. in Laurel, Maryland, is a leafy oasis: Patuxent Research Refuge, which is the nation’s only national wildlife refuge established to support wildlife research. Today, most of the research on the refuge is conducted by the US Geological Survey through the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, but the refuge is a great spot for winter bird walks, and fishing and hunting within designated areas during certain times of the year.
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This refuge features the largest tract of forest in the mid-Atlantic coast, and has a visitor center where guests can learn all about the importance of wildlife conservation. Focusing on migratory birds, endangered species and environmental contamination, the refuge is a field leader in applied environmental research. This is the place where scientists like Rachel Carson did research that led to the banning of the pesticide, DDT, which had damaging effects on wildlife. If you want a bit of conservation history, this is the place for you.