Darling laid the groundwork for today’s National Wildlife Refuge System by helping to create 28 National Wildlife Refuges. In 1934, as Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, predecessor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, he proposed a plan to establish the Nation’s first wildlife research center. In 1936, by Executive Order No. 7514, that vision became a reality with the creation of the largest science and environmental education center in the Department of the Interior. This unique U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facility is located on the 12,750 acre Patuxent Research Refuge.