PRAIRIE CITY — The National Wildlife Refuge Association will be presenting Catch the Bison Spirit! partnering with the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa, Saturday, April 17 at 2 p.m.

The program, which will be shown on Facebook Live through the NWRA Facebook website page, will be written and produced by young staffers and Friends Group members at the Neal Smith Refuge. The link for the event is

The event is part of the Young Ambassadors program at the NWRA that focuses on attracting younger generations, ages 6-35 to be inspired and become involved in the preservation of wildlife and its habitats.

The program hopes to achieve this goal through informative and fun events through social media.

“There are 568 refuges in the country so we have a lot of stories to tell,” said Geoffrey Haskett, Executive Director of the NWRA, “It is important for young families to bring their kids to nearby refuges and have them experience wildlife and these habitats.”

The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, just 20 miles outside of Des Moines, Iowa, was once farmland. Over the last 30 years, it has been transformed into a tallgrass prairie habitat that now supports bison, elk, grassland birds and other native species and birds in the refuge.

“We have an extensive education program that attracts thousands of students each year,” said Scott Gilje, project leader at Neal Smith. “Our field trips give young people a hands-on experience with Iowa’s prairie habitat. Although the refuge focuses on elementary-aged students, the visitor center is an education hub for all who visit here. This NWRA Young Ambassador program is a natural extension of our mission and goal as well.”

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