Volunteer

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"I really enjoy being outdoors. I love meeting visitors on the trail and helping them explore and understand the Refuge. I've become passionate about bird watching and what better place is there to do just that! Not even the rain can keep me away as there is always something new to experience." — Debbie, Volunteer Trail Rover


Help bring a community dream to full fruition. While the needs change throughout the year, one thing we can say with certainty is that as a refuge volunteer you will enjoy and learn about nature, meet new people, have a positive impact on your community, learn new skills, and have fun!


Below are short descriptions of volunteer positions at the Refuge. Also, be sure to check out our monthly volunteer newsletter. Click on the link below to see what's been happening with our volunteer program recently.

Volunteer Naturalist


A key aspect of the Volunteer Naturalist position is to welcome students and other groups, lead field trips, facilitate opportunistic learning, and serve as a resource, while representing the USFWS.
• Lead or assist field trips using subject-based curriculum.
• Facilitate nature awareness and discovery; share your enthusiasm for the natural world.
• Assist with special events such as Tualatin River Bird Festival, Spring Break Exploration Days, and National Wildlife Refuge Week.
• Assist with special events.


Visitor Center Volunteer


Opened in 2008, the Visitor Center serves as a gathering place and launching point for visitors, organized groups, and Refuge programs. This building is staffed entirely by volunteers, who are often the first faces visitors see when they arrive at the Refuge. As a Visitor Center Volunteer, you are helping fuel a conservation ethic in our public to protect and conserve the well-being of the natural environment, both at the Refuge and beyond.
• Welcome visitors and orient them to the Refuge.
• Conduct opening and closing procedures for Visitor Center.
• Speak with visitors to explain the purpose of the refuge, answer questions, identify wildlife and provide information on the wildlife resources of the refuge.
• Answer visitor questions and explain the rules of the Refuge both in person and on the phone.
• Assist with special events


Volunteer Nature Ambassador


The Volunteer Nature Ambassador position provides opportunities for the community to connect with the natural environment while away from the Refuge. Our Volunteer Nature Ambassadors are equipped with the knowledge, resources, and tools to go into the local community and beyond, providing a connection to nature while representing the Refuge.
• Accurately represent the FWS and the Refuge in the community.
• Participate in off Refuge events, activities, and other opportunities.
• Provide a connection to the Refuge and nature through interpretation.
• Assist with special events.


Volunteer Trail Rover


Trail Rovers provide a link between the Refuge and the community by helping visitors understand and appreciate what they are experiencing. Rovers often share their love and knowledge of what can be discovered on the Refuge. Trail Rovers walk the onsite trails engaging with the public to provide information and interpretation of what a visitor is seeing.
• Welcome visitors and orient them to the Refuge.
• Walk the refuge trails and make contact with visitors to answer questions, ensure visitor safety, provide general interpretation and identify wildlife and provide information on the wildlife resources of the refuge.
• Educate public on the rules of the Refuge.
• Assist with special events.


Wildlife and Habitat Volunteer


Wildlife and Habitat Volunteers assist Refuge staff in conducting on-going or short-term management and inventorying/monitoring work to promote a healthy and intact ecosystem for the benefit of plants and wildlife.
• Inventory and monitor wildlife, such as; shorebirds, waterfowl, and amphibians Survey and monitor habitat conditions; including using GPS technology
• Perform biological data entry in the field or office setting.
• Assist with habitat restoration activities; including invasive species treatments (mechanical and chemical) and planting trees and shrubs.
• Assist with habitat and trail maintenance activities such as tree-tube removal; gravel laying, and fence removal.
* These are not typically ongoing opportunities, but still inquire because sometimes needs arise.


Maintenance and Field Operations Volunteer


Maintenance and Field Operations Volunteers assist Refuge staff in conducting facility and equipment maintenance and to conduct habitat management.
• Perform tasks such as carpentry, fence repairs, custodial duties, painting, and construction.
• Independently uses/maintains hand and power tools to maintain grounds, combat invasive species, and perform repairs.
• Maintenance of tools and equipment, including vehicles.
• Mowing and trimming vegetation using hand and power tools such hedge clippers, pruners, mowers, string trimmers, brush cutters, walk-behind mowers, riding mowers.
* These are not typically ongoing opportunities, but still inquire because sometimes needs arise.

How to Apply to be a Refuge Volunteer


Ready to join in? We've made it pretty easy:
1. Call or e-mail the refuge if you would like more information. (503) 625-5944 or tualatinriver@fws.gov
2. Download a Volunteer Application (Fillable PDF)
3. Complete the application. Please be specific as to what positions you are interested in based on the descriptions above.
4. Return the application via e-mail, fax, postal mail, or in-person. We'll get back in touch with you as soon as possible. Our volunteer contact information is below:

Attn: Volunteer Coordinator
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
19255 SW Pacific Highway
Sherwood, OR 97140
Phone: (503) 625-5944
Fax: (503) 625-5947
E-mail: tualatinriver@fws.gov