People need wild places. The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge staff and the Friends organization do more than just manage habitat for the Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo - we also work to provide refuge and recreation for people in our community. With more than nine miles of trails, built and maintained by the Friends group, and four areas open to the public, the Friends and refuge staff hope the public will use these special places to connect with nature. The Friends group offers special, recreational activities throughout the year to the public. (See our events page.) Volunteers teach hands-on environmental education lessons to more than 2,500 school children each spring. In the fall, be sure to mark your calendar for the annual National Wildlife Refuge Round-up, a festival with numerous hands-on activities for kids (but fun for adults, too!!) designed to encourage outdoor recreation.