Press Release
Community celebrates new building at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
Media Contacts

RIDGEFIELD, Washington – The community of Ridgefield celebrated a new administration and multipurpose building at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge on Friday. The new administrative and multipurpose building has offices for refuge staff, and a meeting room that staff, volunteers and nature-based community groups can use. It also provides a place for the public to stop and ask questions, buy national passes, learn about the refuge and pick up materials. The new building is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“A large part of Ridgefield’s identity stems from our connection to the refuge. Not just because our physical western border is the refuge, but also because of the hundreds of thousands of visitors that come to experience the refuge’s natural beauty annually,” said Mayor of Ridgefield, Jennifer Lindsay. “These visitors travel through Ridgefield’s historic downtown, and a thriving, welcoming refuge is important to enhancing the economic vitality of our Main Street. Improvements such as the administrative building make our downtown more vibrant.”

Prior to this, there was no public building at the refuge, which is home for the entire Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex. In addition to Ridgefield, the complex includes the Franz Lake, Pierce and Steigerwald national wildlife refuges in the Columbia River Gorge. Over 300,000 people visit the four refuges each year, which provide a safe home for wildlife and protect essential habitat.

“We are grateful to our partners and the community for their support to make the refuge a safe and welcoming place for all people,” said Juliette Fernandez, project leader, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “This new building will help us better serve visitors and the community seeking information and a place to connect with nature.”

The new building is the first phase in a plan to build a community nature center at the refuge that will expand opportunities for visitors to engage with nature. The building meets LEED certified silver standards and has bird strike avoidance stripping to ensure wildlife stays safe.  For the first time, visitors have a building where they can come in to seek assistance, school groups have a place to learn in inclement weather and community members and volunteers have a place to gather.

The refuge was established in 1965 to provide wintering habitat for the dusky subspecies of the Canada goose whose habitat is extremely limited. Staff and partners strive to work with the community to restore and conserve Oregon oak woodlands, pastures and wetland habitats. These lands provide the perfect environment for state and federally protected species such as Columbian white-tailed deer, sandhill cranes and other wildlife.

“Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is a place where people of all abilities can experience nature and share their outdoor traditions with others, to learn from our Tribal partners about the importance of plants and animals beyond their biology, to participate in diverse environmental education opportunities, to hike on accessible trails, and even learn how to hunt with a seasoned mentor,” said Fernandez.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit, or connect with us through any of these social media channels at, or

Story Tags

Visitor services
Wildlife refuges