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Kids with Binos - Meghan Kearney - USFWS_512x219

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 2017. For more information and to sign up - Contact Josie Finley at 360-887-4106 x 130. Or email

  • 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 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 360-887-4106 x 123

  • 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 or 360-887-4106 x 130

  • 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. Bundle-up and join us for winter restoration work thru early March. Projects include maintenance of past planting sites, blackberry control, and the search and removal of shiny geranium. Crews meet on most Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

    Contact Sean Davis at or 360-887-3883 x 14

  • 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.

    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


Page Photo Credits — Kids with Binos - ©Meghan Kearney - USFWS
Last Updated: May 09, 2017
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