Refuge plans centennial bash

Posted: Friday, August 01, 2003

The National Wildlife Refuge system turns 100 this year, and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge plans to celebrate in style.

"When you get to have a party every 100 years, you do it in a big way," said Jim Hall, refuge deputy director.

Hall said the Kenai refuge will host a centennial celebration Saturday at the Kenai Peninsula State Fairgrounds in honor of the nation's 95 million-acre refuge system. The celebration will include live music, kids' activities, free food and a host of exhibits on wildlife, refuge history, conservation and outdoor recreation.

"It's just going to be a day full of events," Hall said.

Hall said numerous dignitaries also plan to attend, including U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former President Theodore Roosevelt -- well, sort of.

A Teddy Roosevelt impersonator will be there to answer questions and tell stories about the history of the world's largest wildlife conservation lands network. It was Roosevelt who created the first refuge at Pelican Island, Fla., in 1903.

The refuge centennial celebration will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the fairgrounds, with remarks from speakers beginning around 1 p.m.

More information about the celebration is available online at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Web site (

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