Winter Newsletter 2019



This is your opportunity to receive a beautiful gift and support Friends of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.  While supply lasts, you will receive your choice of bracelet, earrings, or necklace/lanyard free with a donation of $50 or more – (the more you give, the more the Friends can do) as much as you can afford to give.  All donations will be used for Friends of BANWR projects.

One of our Friends, Rosa Panchyshyn –, has designed and handcrafted jewelry using authentic bird bands from our endangered Masked Bobwhite Quail.  Each piece will have at least one bird band and each piece is a one of a kind.  Standard shipping is free anywhere in the United States and it will arrive in a beautifully decorated reusable craft box.  

Your donation provides funding for important projects that support wildlife on the Refuge.  Current projects include mesquite control, tree tenting for quail cover, and seeding for native grass, forbs and shrubs.


Go shopping now!

Thanks to donors like you and the many hours of labor that our volunteers provide, we are making progress in our efforts to create the needed habitat to re-establish the pronghorn to the Refuge and to successfully re-introduce the critically endangered Masked Bobwhite Quail at BANWR.

Below is a sampling of the jewelry available with your donation. You can order your piece of jewelry by going to our website (which is still a work in progress by the way)  There you can make your selection and make your donation.  More pieces will be added.

How FRIENDS OF BANWR provided assistance to the Refuge in 2018


Manager’s Hill

The Refuge plans to put a hard surface RV turnaround on Manager’s Hill, a sidewalk to the picnic area, a gazebo shelter and build a platform for a mounted telescope to view the surrounding grasslands. The Friends have plans for the area also and we are working in coordination with the Refuge to get them done.

Craig Kelley and Hank Panchyshyn are building picnic tables for the area and are almost through with two of them. We need to find the water access so we can install drip irrigation for the native trees, shrubs and forbs we will plant along the hillside. If we put in the irrigation too soon, it may be damaged by the road construction and so we are choreographing our steps but we will create a picnic area with native plants and a great overlook. The picnic part will be ready soon so watch for it when you next visit the refuge.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed toward this project.


Lush Cosmetic Grant
Once again we thank LUSH Cosmetics for this major grant. Thus far, we have funded equipment and mileage reimbursement for volunteers who did over 12 weeks of Yellow-billed Cuckoo survey, we bought six miles of materials to build wildlife-friendly fence and we hired a consultant to identify eroded washes that could be repaired by placing cut mesquite trees into the drainages to trap sediment and slow flood waters.

Thus far, we have not felt confident in how to proceed with eroded wash repair so we are using part of the LUSH grant to hire Kyle Thompson who did the original contract work. He will do two days of training to volunteers in early February. In the process, we will create a demonstration site near the Headquarters, repair a couple of washes and feel capable and ready to proceed on our own.

Finally, the remaining grant money will hire young adults aged 15-25 to live and work on the Refuge to do Quail habitat work and continue the mesquite mat repair in washes. These young people will come from the Tohono O’odham Reservation and Changemaker High School in Tucson. This is an exciting step for Friends to encourage diversity on the Refuge and get young people involved in conservation. That would be a win-win for everyone.

Public Relation Person:  Need to get our name and our work out to the public and contact newspapers and various publications to publicize our programs etc.

Event Planner: Need person to plan and organize programs and events

Grant Writer/Fund Raiser:  We always need funds and we can always use help with writing Grants

Outreach Person: Need a person who could speak at schools, clubs, community organizations etc about the Friends organization.

Media Person:  Need a person to post on Facebook, Instagram, write articles about the Refuge and Friends for publications.

Webmaster Assistant:  Need someone to assist in adding events, articles etc in our web page.
Interested in being a volunteer or joining the board?  E-mail

February 2 at 11:00 am
Birds and Critters
Presented by Rob Rutledge

February 23 at 11:00 am
Snakes on the Refuge
Presented by Mike Cardwell, Wildlife Biologist

March 2 at 11:00 am
Pronghorn and Mule Deer
Presented by Jered Ellingson, Wildlife Manager, Arizona Game & Fish and Craig Kelley

March 16 at 11:00 am
The Endangered Masked Bobwhite Quail
Presented by Joe Bozzo, Quail Technician

Donations Requested
Friends want to repair and display a beautiful Jaguar that the Refuge has owned for over 20 years. We will build a platform/base topped by a Plexiglas case that will provide protection and clear visibility for our cat. It will be placed in the Visitor’s Center for all to appreciate. We need donations for the cost of the taxidermy work, Plexiglas and wood materials and educational signage.

New Board Members:
Bonnie Swarbrick: Bonnie needs no introduction to most of us.  Bonnie joined the staff of BANWR in July 1999 as the refuge Outdoor Recreation Planner.  Bonnie has a Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology and is a very talented and accomplished artist.  She is responsible for our fantastic logo and you will see her touch all over the refuge Visitor Center.

Jeff Buchella:  Jeff also goes way back in our Friends history.  He is a past President of Friends of BANWR, he knows and cares about the refuge and is a practicing attorney.  We are thrilled he has joined our team.

Please note:  The work of the Friends of BANWR is not funded by regular membership dues.  Other than the grant funds we apply for and receive for specific projects, we have no regular income.  We rely on your generosity!! Your donations allow us to support unfunded expenses at the Refuge, show appreciation to volunteers, support Christmas Bird Count with maps, coffee and printing, and many more items that are not included in a grant.  Your support makes all the difference.

To make a donation, visit our new website and make a donation or send us donations anytime by US mail.  Our mailing address is PO Box 81, Green Valley, AZ 85622.
Board of Directors
Reta Rutledge, President
Evelyn Kelley, Vice-President & Treasurer
Sarah King, Secretary
Jered Ellingson, Director
Robert Farrell, Director
Craig Kelley, Director
Ken Langton, Director
Jeff Buchella, Director
Bonnie Swarbrick, Director
Donate online or send a check to:

Friends of BANWR
PO Box 81
Green Valley, AZ 85622

Phone: (317) 354-7352
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Our mailing address is:
Friends of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 81
Green Valley, AZ 85622

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