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Volunteering at the Refuge does not require previous experience. Bring your enthusiasm and passion the outdoors, connecting people with nature and culture and we will teach you all you need to know. 

The following are upcoming training  and volunteer opportunities for 2018. For more information and to sign up - Contact Josie Finley at 360-887-4106 x 130 Or email RidgefieldVolunteer@fws.gov

  • Volunteer Opportunities

    Whether you want to work with students and the public to spread the conservation message, teach about local indigenous culture, or get your hands dirty doing habitat work, we just may have a volunteer opportunity for you to join our community. 

    Email RidgefieldVolunteer@fws.gov for more information on how you can get involved. 

    If you are also interested in volunteering at our Refuges in the Columbia River Gorge, email Jared_Strawderman@fws.gov or Mesha_Wood@fws.gov



  • Habitat Restoration

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    Volunteers get to see the most beautiful places on the refuge while helping to ensure that native wildlife have food and shelter. Summer work is focused on maintaining winter plantings and controlling invasive plants that threaten to take over habitat.  Crews meet on most Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

    Contact Sean Davis at Sean_Davis@fws.gov or 360-887-3883 x 14

  • Refuge and Trail Greeters

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    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.

    Contact Josie Finley at josie_finley@fws.gov or 360-887-4106 x 130

  • Cathlapotle Plankhouse

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    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. Field trips take place during the weekdays. Docents staff the house on weekends from April - September.

    Contact Juliet McGraw at juliet_mcgraw@fws.gov 360-887-4106 x 123

  • Education

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    Help us inspire the next generation. Kids of all ages need hands-on learning and inspiration in the great outdoors as part of a well-rounded education. We need your help to make their visit to the Refuge fun and memorable. Field trips take place during the weekdays starting in April.

    Contact Josie Finley at josie_finley@fws.gov or 360-887-4106 x 130

  • 2017 Volunteer Webinars

    Whether you are new to volunteering with us or you have been helping us for a long time, these webinars will update you on current happenings, remind you of what is unique about each local refuge in our management unit, and show you what you need to know to have a fun and safe volunteer experience.

    *Please use Internet Explorer (not Google Chrome) to view these webinars.

    Getting to Know Your Local Refuges presented by Deputy Project Leader Eric Anderson

    Link to Recording

    First Peoples of the Lower Columbia presented by Plankhouse Director Sarah Hill

    Link to Recording

    March 15 Benefits of Being a Volunteer (2016 version) presented by Park Ranger Josie Finley

    Link to Recording

    March 22 Making Volunteering Safe and Fun presented by Park Ranger Josie Finley

    *Note: The webinar audio gets static about minute 6.  You can fast forward to 9min 30sec to pick it back up.  

    Link to Recording


    Learn More
  • 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