Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region

Get InvolvedRefuge volunteers help remove Ricefield Bulrush, an invasive species of plant from refuge wetlands

National Wildlife Refuges do not stand alone in the effort to preserve our nation's wild things. Many organizations and individuals contribute thousands of hours to our wildlife refuges and local communities by planting trees, battling invasive species, and by providing visitor outreach and education programs. Friends groups serve as advocates for our refuges and natural areas at the local, regional, and national level. With these extra voices and hands at work, today's conservation projects are making a difference on our refuges and for our wildlife.

Why become a volunteer at Steigerwald Lake, Franz Lake and/or Pierce National Wildlife Refuge?

Besides being part of the conservation effort by restoring and protecting habitat and educating and inspiring the public, volunteers also enjoy the following benefits:

- Invitations to special walks and talks offered only to volunteers and Friends members.
- Annual Refuge Complex Volunteer Appreciation Dinner with catered food and prizes for those giving 25 hours or more.
- Annual summer BBQ for all complex volunteers and Friends members on Ridgefield Refuge.
- Periodic summer BBQ for all Columbia Gorge volunteers and Refuge Stewards members.
- Volunteer Training with staff teaching about Refuge history, flora and fauna, and what you can do to keep this place a great destination for animals and humans alike.

For more information contact the Refuge Manager, Jim Clapp, at 360-835-8767 or by email at

Become a Columbia Gorge Refuge Steward

The Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting habitat restoration and invasives control and increasing public awareness of the resources of the Columbia Gorge Refuges. They are also working with Refuge staff to develop an environmental education program To learn more about this important organization and to see a calendar of refuge volunteer and other events follow this link: Columbia Gorge Stewards.


Environmental Education

Training opportunity for Steigerwald Education Volunteers at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Ridgefield, WA.

Attend a four session education training and learn how you can be involved in both programs! See flier for details.

Steigerwald Lake is starting a new environmental education program and can use your help. Volunteers are needed all year to help guide schools, scouts, daycares, families, and more

The Columbia Gorge Refuge Environmental Education Committee created an environmental education program to share with teachers, students and chaperones visiting the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. We hope that the demand for this free and diverse program will increase every year, and it is only sustainable with the participation of the many dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers

Education volunteers help to supplement and enhance traditional classroom teaching by engaging students outdoors on the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail. Through prescheduled field trips, students of all ages and backgrounds get to see and become inspired by the real world that they are learning about in their studies. Volunteers facilitate this process through their interest in the subjects and enthusiasm for exploring and sharing information.

No experience necessary!
We need volunteers of all types, from those wanting to share their expertise, to those interested in learning something new.

Help Restore Steigerwald Lake NWR!!

Plant Trees Along Gibbons Creek

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are needed to help the staff of the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and Refuge volunteers plant trees and shrubs along Gibbons Creek.  Come on your own or share your passion for the outdoors with friends and family. They will provide tools, light snacks and warm beverages. The Winter Volunteer Recruitment Flyer contains date and location details, or see below.  Preregistration is required.  Please call Sam Dumont at 503-226-1565 x245 or email

When: All plantings are 9 am to Noon.  November 15, February 21,

What to bring: Water bottle, extra clothing, including socks and shoes for the ride home, camera and/or binoculars, if desired. The Estuary Partnership will supply shovels and all other tools. We'll also provide gloves but you are welcome to bring your own.

What to wear: Dress for the weather, clothes may get muddy. Long sleeves and pants are recommended, as are sturdy shoes or boots and rain gear (and a hat).

About the site: The Estuary Partnership has purchased 1,000 trees and shrubs to plant along Gibbons Creek, supplementing our original plantings of several years ago and closer to the creek when the creek is low.

About the Estuary Partnership's Volunteer Program: The goals of their Volunteer Program are to help involve people in the preservation, protection and restoration of lower Columbia River resources, increase understanding of the importance of natural resources, and help build personal stewardship for natural areas.

How to Get There:  To get there from the west, drive east on SR 14 from the intersection of I-205 and SR 14 towards Camas. Drive past Camas and Washougal. Be on the lookout for a large vertical sign marking the boundary of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area on the right of the highway at about the MP 16 mile marker. Shortly past that you will see a large Steigerwald Lake NWR entry sign at the entrance to the trailhead and parking lot.

Interested in other habitat work?

We have a variety of other projects and programs going on year-round. Other volunteer work may occur on an as-needed basis, so let us know your availability and special skills or experience. Learn more about other projects by looking at our Volunteer Opportunity List located on our Refuge Stewards website at

Volunteer Signups

All volunteers must fill out a volunteer services agreement (VSA). People under 18 years of age must have their parents sign the VSA. Forms are available on the day of the event, or download them here: volunteer services agreement. See the bottom of this page for other, non-mandatory volunteer forms.

Volunteer Forms

Volunteer Service Agreement (required): Anyone volunteering for Natural Resource Agencies, such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, must have a volunteer service agreement filled out and renewed each year. This is a very easy form that protects you as a volunteer while out on the Refuge volunteering.

Volunteer Timesheet: The time and effort that you donate to the Refuge is priceless to us and the wildlife and habitat that you support. But did you know that you are also donating cash for each hour you spend here? When you volunteer our agency and our Friends group can use your time in grant applications as matching donations to get more funding for habitat projects, education, and much much more. Plus, if you don't record your hours we will never know how to properly thank you through our gifts and recognition. For example, 25 hours gets you an invitation to the annual catered recognition dinner, and 500 hours gets you a free yearly pass to all public lands! These are just a few of the benefits given to dedicated volunteers so fill your timesheet out monthly and turn it into the Refuge!

Volunteer Application: If you are interested in joining our volunteer team but are not sure what you would like to do because you have a variety of interests, please fill out this volunteer application so we can see what opportunities will be the best fit for you. This also helps us when we have new types of volunteer jobs come up and we are looking for someone with specialized experience. Note that not all jobs on this form are currently offered on the Refuge as this is a nationwide form used by all Natural Resource Agencies.

Photo Release Form: A photo says and thousand words! And photos of volunteers say a lot about how special this community and Refuge is. We use pictures taken during volunteer events to show those inside and outside the agency what a asset our volunteers are and how we could never do all the good things we do without them. If you are okay with us using your image to promote our volunteer program please fill out this photo release form. You can even specify what type of publications you are comfortable being in and what you are not, and we can inform you when your picture is being used.



Last updated: September 23, 2014