SHERWOOD, Oregon – Over the next six months, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge will expand available parking spaces and sidewalk access to trails. The refuge expects work to begin in December. Visitors will be able to access existing parking spaces and sidewalks while work is taking place.
Located south of Portland, the refuge is bordered by the cities of Sherwood, Tigard and Tualatin. One of over 100 urban national wildlife refuges across the country, the refuge is popular for wildlife viewing, bird watching and photography. Throughout the year, the refuge hosts local school districts and regular educational programming.
Access to the refuge is not expected to be impacted, though portions of the parking lot may be closed as necessary to accommodate work crews and equipment. Refuge managers worked with project contractors to ensure natural features of the refuge are protected and disturbance to existing vegetation is minimized during the work. A combination of pavement and permeable surface pavers will be used to help improve stormwater runoff management.
In addition to increasing parking capacity at the refuge, the project is expected to improve pedestrian experience and connect dedicated pathways from the parking lot to trails and the visitor center. It will also increase the number of accessible parking spots close to the visitor center and include a new school bus loading zone.
Tualatin River is home to a diverse wildlife population and important wetland and oak savannah habitats, rare in the increasingly urban area. Over 200 species of birds depend on the refuge, along with over 50 mammal species such as white-tailed deer, 25 species of reptiles and amphibians, and insects, plants and fish. Visitors can enjoy viewing wildlife from the visitor center or a number of trails. There are a variety of public programs and events throughout the year.
Learn more about the refuge and how to visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/tualatin-river/