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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

  • 2017 Volunteer Webinars

     Wednesdays in March from 1 pm to 2 pm

    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. View these live and ask questions during the presentation, or watch later at your leisure.

    March 1 Getting to Know Your Local Refuges

    Link to Recording Coming Soon

    March 8 First Peoples of the Lower Columbia

    Link to Recording

    March 15 Benefits of Being a Volunteer

    March 22 Making Volunteering Safe and Fun

    Learn More
  • Spring Naturalist Training

    Saturdays in March from 10 am to 3 pm

    The most fun series of events we do for volunteers, this training takes people of all ages and background and brings them together to learn about wildlife, habitat, culture, and communication techniques. Whether you have previous knowledge and experience, or you are just really interested and want to share your passion with others, this training will interest you!  We meet at Ridgefield and Steigerwald Lake to give volunteers a well rounded view of habitats, wildlife and culture in the area.  After this training volunteers go on to teach students, engage visitors, help with on and offsite events, and much much more. We hope that you can join us for the series!  

    April 1 -  Connecting People to Nature (Steigerwald Lake NWR)

    April 8 - Culture and Tech of the Lower Columbia (Cathlapotle Plankhouse on the Ridgefield NWR)

    April 15 - Wetlands and Wildlife (Steigerwald Lake NWR)

    April 22 - Wildlife of Oak Woodlands (Ridgefield NWR)


    Learn More
  • 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

    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. 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

  • 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.   


Page Photo Credits — Kids with Binos - ©Meghan Kearney - USFWS
Last Updated: Mar 08, 2017
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