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Check out the Cradle of Birding Wildlife & Conservation Festival at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge this Saturday, September 15 from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is an important partner to the Philadelphia Water Department in helping to protect our water resources. This free festival is perfect way for the entire family to learn more about birds and the wildlife refuge, as well as a great opportunity to enjoy one of Philadelphia’s unique natural areas. John Heinz has packed a full schedule of workshops on birdwatching, identification, and birding by ear for youngsters and advanced birders alike. Don’t miss the other workshops on fly tying, nature photography and live animal demonstrations including critters from the Philadelphia Zoo and the Raptor Show featuring hawks, owls, and eagles. Live music and free food will be provided. 

Heinz National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania. Tinicum Marsh plays several important roles in our city's ecosystem: it filters toxins and pollutants from our drinking water and serves as a giant sponge that provides major flood protection for surrounding communities. Tinicum Marsh is a huge nursery ground for the Delaware Bay, supporting millions of fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters and other wildlife, as well as the livelihood of many people through the multimillion-dollar fishing and recreation industries. The water that flows from the Tinicum Marsh goes right into the Delaware River and the Delaware Bay Estuary, one of the richest ecosystems in the world. 

The Cradle of Birding Festival is sponsored by the Friends of the Heinz Refuge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is a free event.  For more information on the festival, visit www.fws.gov/heinz or call 215-365-3118.