Get Involved


From its start in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has owed its very existence to concerned citizens eager to protect America's natural resources. More than 200 nonprofit Refuge Friends organizations support national wildlife refuges, whether they work with a single refuge, a refuge complex or an entire state. Friends members are crucial to conserving and protecting our nation’s wildlife and teaching millions of Americans that their actions today determine the conservation legacy of tomorrow. More than 42,000 people volunteer their time and ideas each year to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Whether they work on the land, in a visitor center or with youth, they contribute to the conservation mission that reaches back more than a century. Become a volunteer or Refuge Friend to contribute your strength on behalf of America’s natural resources.

Do you have some spare time? Would you like to do something interesting to help wildlife? Consider becoming a volunteer for one of our wildlife refuges. As a volunteer, you will be actively involved in station programs, teaching environmental education classes, helping rehabilitate burned habitats, greeting visitors, assisting office staff, conducting goose surveys, or helping with any number of other rewarding tasks.

The Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes refuges in two states, and it's likely there's a refuge near you. We could use help at:

  • Cold Springs NWR near Hermiston, Oregon
  • Columbia, NWR near Othello, Washington
  • Conboy Lake NWR near Glenwood, Washington
  • Hanford Reach National Monument near Richland, Washington
  • McKay Creek NWR near Pendleton, Oregon
  • McNary NWR near Burbank and Pasco, Washington
  • Toppenish NWR near Toppenish and Yakima, Washington
  • Umatilla NWR near Umatilla, Oregon

Volunteer opportunities and partnerships are recognized as key components of successful management and vital to the implementation of refuge programs, plans and projects. In other words, WE NEED YOU! And it’s our belief that you can benefit by volunteering. Developing a sense of place and knowing that you contributed to the perpetuation of the natural environment through caring and education are just some of the internal benefits of volunteering.

Various opportunities exist at the entire Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex for volunteers to experience rewarding and educational opportunities. Volunteers can serve for a long- or short-term period. Help is needed in a variety of fields, including interpretation, environmental education, wildlife and plant surveys, and maintenance and resource management.

Volunteering is fun, but does require commitment. Refuge staff will provide the necessary training and equipment. All you need to supply are time and enthusiasm.

If one of the volunteer opportunities interests you, please contact:
          Denise McInturff
          U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
          64 Maple Street
          Burbank, WA  99323
          (509) 546-8300

Thank you for your interest in the national wildlife refuges along the Mid-Columbia River; we look forward to working with you to protect our national treasures.