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The Official Friends of Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge

 Big Oaks Conservation Society (BOCS) is the official friends group of Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge!

Here at Big Oaks Conservation Society, we are deeply committed to a single purpose:  to help make Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge the best it can be. We are a private, non-profit organization dedicated to finding members and volunteers to support our Refuge and its mission. Join us to help support Indiana's largest National Wildlife Refuge!

About Us

Big Oaks Conservation Society supports the goals of wildlife conservation and habitat restoration at the refuge to:

  • Enhance public awareness of the refuge and develop environmental education and support 

  • Develop public use facilities in cooperation with staff

  • Support wildlife conservation and habitat restoration for the continued existence of the refuge

Browse through our website to learn more about Big Oaks NWR and how our friends group is working to achieve these goals. 

Refuge News:
Thank you to the Ripley 
County Community Foundation and the Jefferson county Commissioners for the generous grants enabling us to provide educational programs for school children.


Visit the Events Page for a list of all 2022 events!

Our Project Updates:

Pond management has begun! 

Oakdale School House- kiosk coming along!

Kestrel and Blue Bird Boxes are up! Be sure to keep a look out for the birds while visiting the refuge!

Continue to our projects page for more!

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Upcoming Events


Youth Turkey Hunt Workshop

at Big Oaks NWR Office Madison, IN | View Map

To apply to participate in this hunt please send name and address to Big Oaks NWR office. The workshop provides information and regulations about hunting on the refuge. There will be food and prizes for every participant! 

Workshop 4/23/22, Hunt 4/24/22

Ice Cream with Candy

 Ice Cream Social

at Oakdale School House in Big Oaks NWR | View Map

Eat homeade ice cream and socialize with other friends of Big Oaks! 

August 1st, 2022


Volunteer Butterfly Survey

at  Big Oaks NWR Main Office | View Map

Come see the beautiful pollinators of Big Oaks NWR! Last year we found 31 different species. Lets see if we can do better this year! 

August 6, 2022

Old Timbers Exterior South.jpg

Lodge Day 

at Old Timbers Lodge at Big Oaks NWR Madison, IN | View Map

The lodge will be open for tours and historical interpretation. Hear from Big Oaks NWR staff, Big Oaks Conservation Society, and other local conservation groups. Refreshments provided. BOCS merchandise available for purchase. Free public event! 

September 10, 2022

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Youth Deer Hunt Workshop

at Big Oaks NWR Madison, IN | View Map

This is an excellent opportunity to bond with your children while learning more about the challenging sport of hunting turkeys. For more details please contact the refuge office or refer to the hunting section of our page. 

Workshop 10/28/22, Hunt 10/29/22


Holiday Party At Old Timbers Lodge

at Old Timbers Lodge at Big Oaks NWR Madison, IN | View Map

Join us for the annual party at Old Timbers Lodge hosted by BOCS. Open to members and guests, come and enjoy the beautiful decorations, food, and warm fires. 

***Reservations Required to Attend ***

December 10, 2022

Visit the Events Page for a list of all 2022 events!

What makes our refuge unique?

  • Globally important bird area featuring large grasslands which provide breeding habitat for the critically endangered Henslow's sparrow 

  • Significant ecosystem for the state-endangered crawfish frog

  • Important monarch and pollinator habitat

  • Over 50,000 contiguous acres with historic bridges, homes, schools, and a unique history


Photos by USFWS

Henslow's Sparrow (2).jpg
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