JACKSON HOLE, WYO - The National Elk Refuge winter season wrapped up earlier this month with two most popular educational programs\u2014winter sleigh rides and Feathered Fridays\u2014setting new highs\u00a0for number of people participating.\r\n\r\nWinter sleigh rides on the Refuge are always popular, with an average of just over 23,000 people taking a ride each season over the past decade. This year, 32,753 riders participated in the program\u2014up 13% from last year\u2019s ridership and, more noteworthy, the highest number of sleigh riders on record since the program began in 1965. It\u2019s also only the second time in the program\u2019s 52-year history the number of riders has surpassed the 30,000 mark.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Teton Raptor Center once again partnered this season to offer Feathered Fridays. The second-year program brings live birds to the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center for two hours each Friday.\r\n\r\nAttendance in last year\u2019s inaugural season was impressive but this year Feathered Friday attendance was up 31%, with 2,652 people attending one of the 15 events offered from December 23 through March 31.\r\n\r\n\u201cThese two winter programs exemplify creative solutions and partnering to increase public outreach and engage audiences in\u00a0fun, educational programming,\u201d said Refuge manager\u00a0Brian Glaspell.