Kids with Binos - Meghan Kearney - USFWS_512x219

No matter your style, our Refuge family most likely has something that will interest you.

Are you a people person? Or do you like to keep quiet and to yourself?

Do you love getting dirty? Or would you rather stay warm and dry while you dig into the interests of your community?

Not sure if this is for you? Come spend some time with us and figure that out. No pressure! And no previous experience needed.

  • Public Engagement and Volunteer Activities - Postponed

    In an effort to be community focused, all public events and volunteer activities are postponed until further notice for the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Ridgefield,Steigerwald Lake, Pierce and Franz Lake).

  • Cathlapotle Plankhouse

    Plankhouse - Ridgefield NWR Friends_150x118

    The Cathlapotle Plankhouse draws thousands of visitors to the Refuge each year. Help share the legacy of the Indigenous people who have tended to this place Since Time Immemorial as a Plankhouse Docent or Cultural Educator. Docents guide the public through the house on weekends from April to mid-October.

    Plankhouse Docent Spring Training - Postponed at this time

    Save the Date: April 18th and 19th

    Location: Cathlapotle Plankhouse

    Times to be announced

    For more information about volunteering in the Plankhouse in the spring and summer, email Juliet_McGraw@fws.gov.


  • Habitat Restoration

    Complex - 150x118

    Volunteers get to see the most beautiful places on the refuge while helping to ensure that native wildlife have food and shelter. Crews often meet Wednesdays.  Saturday opportunities for individuals or groups are dependent on time of year and availability of staff.

    For more information email Elena_Tinoco@fws.gov.

  • Refuge and Trail Greeters

    Wildlife Viewing Tips - Promo 150x118

    Over 120,000 visitors flock to the refuge annually to enjoy nature through participation in wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, cultural interpretation, hunting, and fishing. Volunteers help to make their experiences meaningful. Share your enthusiasm for nature and make the Refuge a welcoming place for people walking our trails, stopping at the Visitor Contact Station and driving the AutoTour.

    Stay tuned for volunteer training opportunities in the spring. 

    For more information email Josie_Finley@fws.gov.

  • Resources & Forms

    Volunteer Services Agreement: All volunteers must sign a Volunteer Services Agreement before starting to volunteer.  Please print, fill out, and sign this form and bring it with you for your first day.  

    Volunteer Timesheet: Use this to keep track of your volunteer hours.  Your hours mean resources for the refuge through grant applications and special reporting. 

    Volunteer Manual 

    If you are volunteering on the Refuge for an extended period of time it is important that you understand the program and our volunteer policies.  This manual gives you background and useful information for working on the refuge as well as what to do in emergency situations.   

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Chapter 2: Ridgefield NWR

    *Chapter 3: Volunteer Program

    *Chapter 4: Safety

    Chapter 5: Common Questions

    *Required to be read by all long term volunteers annually