[Washington D.C., 05/17/2024] – America’s Wildlife Refuges is excited to announce the success of Walk for the Wild, a 5K challenge that activated more than 2,300 participants across the country and raised more than $60,000 to support the National Wildlife Refuge System. The event was held in October 2023 during National Wildlife Refuge Week in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Walk for the Wild is a collaboration between America’s Wildlife Refuges and locally based nonprofit partners of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, often called Refuge Friends organizations. The event helps people experience the nearby nature offered by the National Wildlife Refuge System. In 2023, Walk for the Wild was hosted by 46 nonprofit partners to help benefit 70 national wildlife refuges across 28 states. The funds raised may be used to address priorities identified by the participating national wildlife refuges, from critical wildlife research to youth programs.

“A walk through a national wildlife refuge can be transformational,” said Dan Puskar, President and CEO of the Public Lands Alliance. “The stresses of your day will fade as you experience their natural beauty and, if you’re lucky, spot some of the wildlife who call them home. We are so grateful to Refuge Friends organizations and other local nonprofit partners who host Walk for the Wild for the benefit of their local communities.”

“National wildlife refuges are the best places for wildlife and people to thrive,” stated Cynthia Martinez, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System. “The Service is proud to partner with America’s Wildlife Refuges, Refuge Friends organizations, and other partners to offer Walk for the Wild every year.”

America’s Wildlife Refuges and Refuge Friends organizations nearly doubled the donations raised in 2023 compared to 2022, the first year of this collaborative fundraising event. Plans are already underway to host the next Walk for the Wild on October 13-19, 2024.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jocelyn Boss, Director of Development


About America’s Wildlife Refuges:

America’s Wildlife Refuges is an initiative of the Public Lands Alliance, an official nonprofit partner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dedicated to inspiring meaningful connections and private support for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Each year, more than 65 million people travel from near and far to explore, admire, and appreciate America’s 570 national wildlife refuges and the flora and fauna that inhabit them.
The mission of the Public Lands Alliance is to connect, strengthen, and represent the nonprofit partners of America’s public lands. We are a unified, powerful community dedicated to the preservation, enrichment, and enjoyment of America’s most treasured places.


About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the only federal government agency whose primary responsibility is the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the American people. By managing the National Wildlife Refuge System and other programs, the Service offers many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and our shared natural heritage. And through its work to conserve natural resources, the Service provides communities with healthier environments, clean water, flood control and a strong economy.