On Sunday we marked the opening of the new visitor center at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. The center supports the eight refuges in the Eastern Massachusetts NWR Complex (Assabet River NWR, Great Meadows NWR, Mashpee NWR, Monomoy NWR, Nantucket NWR, Nomans Land Island NWR and Oxbow NWR).
A full set of my photographs from the day is available from: community.dmg-photography.com/2010-arnwr-vc-opening
The visitor center is part of a new design ethic created by the Fish & Wildlife Service. It is the first standalone visitor center that is part of a suite of standardized designs – reducing costs across the NWR system.
The celebration included hikes, bike tours, and “bunker” tours — the Assabet River NWR has 50+ ammunition bunkers from World War II. Above, Jan Wright, leads a tour of one of the bunkers just down the road from the visitor center. Over 200 people toured the bunker on Sunday.
Meanwhile, further down the path, a workshop for kids that explored pond life was led by Arthur Skura and Richard DeFlorio.
Libby Herland, Project Manager for the Eastern MA NWR Complex, welcomed the audience to the opening ceremonies.
Chief Roland Jerome, from the United Native American Cultural Center in Ayer, spoke at the close of the ceremony finishing with a blessing and drumming.
Before it was a refuge the land was a World War II ammunition dump — and before that it was home to families and farms. One of those families, the Carbary’s, turned the center opening into a family reunion with 50+ members arriving from all over the United States.
Shot most of the day with a 7D, 24-70mm f/2.8L lens with a circular polarizer. Also used a 5DMk2 with a 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. I’m sure the lenses shuffled between the cameras now and then. Moving back and forth from bright sunlight to interiors I kept the cameras in Av mode with Auto ISO. (Well, except for when the poorly designed 5D control wheel rotated to another setting without me noticing.)
Not much in the way of processing (clarity +18, vibrance +18, profile lens corrections). Some of the photos from the ceremony were washed out by the sun reflecting off the side of the tent (probably hitting the polarizer pretty badly). These required extending the black point to restore contrast. The photo of the (exhibit) kingfisher looking at the crowd had a +1/2 stop localized adjustment to the bird.