*Visit the "Woods Trail Makeover" Campaign*

The Friends of Blackwater is a nonprofit citizens support group for Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Cambridge, Maryland. Together with our partners, we provide vital fundraising, volunteer, and advocacy support to help make Blackwater NWR one of the best refuges in America's National Wildlife Refuge System. Learn more about how you can join, donate, or volunteer with us.


Woods Trail Makeover - End-of-Year Fundraising Drive

Contribute to our "Woods Trail Makeover" campaign, and help us make the Woods Trail a better place for people and wildlife!

Holiday Sale

The Eagle's Nest Book and Gift Shop will be offering discounts throughout the month of December for both members and non-members. See our Holiday Sale page for details.

Register for Photography Workshop

Well-known nature photographer Jim Clark will be holding a photography workshop at Blackwater NWR on January 6. Visit our Photography Workshop page for details on registering for the morning class or afternoon photo shoot.

Volunteer for Mid-Winter Eagle Survey

Blackwater NWR will be holding its Mid-Winter Eagle Survey in January and volunteers are needed. Visit our Survey page to learn how to register.

Share your images!

Do you have a great image from Blackwater NWR? Be sure to visit our online gallery of images and videos from Blackwater NWR. You can submit a photo or video for inclusion in our gallery or you can share your photos and videos with us on our Friends of Blackwater Facebook page. Show us what you've got!

Blackwater NWR image gallery

What is a national wildlife refuge?

You might be surprised to learn that national wildlife refuges are different than national parks. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the only system of federal lands devoted specifically to wildlife. While national wildlife refuges provide recreational opportunities for people, they also provide habitat for more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species, and more than 1,000 species of fish. More than 380 threatened or endangered plants or animals are protected on wildlife refuges. Each year, millions of migrating birds use refuges as stepping stones while they fly thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes. Learn more about America's National Wildlife Refuge System at fws.gov/refuges.

red-tailed hawk
Red-tailed hawk on Refuge System "blue goose" sign. Credit: George Gentry/USFWS