Environmental Education On and Off Refuge

Nature Walk

Turnbull NWR has been connecting people with nature for over 25 years. With the support of Friends of Turnbull, a non-profit organization established in 1997, refuge staff and volunteers have been able to increase environmental awareness throughout the Inland Northwest for up to 8,500 students annually. Turnbull's Environmental Education (EE) program promotes the development of an educated and informed constituency, pro-active in protecting and restoring natural ecosystems. This Program has been developed to meet the Refuge goal of providing quality environmental education, interpretation, research and wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities compatible with the refuge’s purposes and mission. 
The environmental education program is directed by a full-time Visitor Services Manager. When funding and FTE allocations allow, a Pathways Intern is hired part time to assist with facilitation and curriculum development. For several years, a part time environmental education contractor has also been hired from grants procured by the refuge. For the past 14 years, the environmental education staff has been augmented by the use of AmeriCorps members who spend 10.5 months on the refuge assisting with environmental education facilitation.
Please contact the Refuge for scheduling all field trips and any other environmental education activities. Our environmental education and winter outreach programs are offered for free. The entrance fee is waived for schools and nonprofit groups. The entrance fee waiver form must be completed prior to your visit to the refuge. For-profit businesses conducting their own programs or participating in refuge facilitated programs must pay the entrance fee.



  • Field Trip Program

    Aquatic Ecology Study

    During the spring through fall, field trips are offered for school and civic groups. Our field trips include indoor classroom activities, an aquatic ecology study, and a guided nature walk through the 4 major habitats of the refuge. 

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  • EE Off Refuge

    Environmental Education Off Refuge

    During the winter months, we travel off refuge to offer a diversity of EE programs to schools who are unable to come to the refuge for a field trip. The winter programs are also a great way to supplement a field trip visit to Turnbull. We have programs for all grade levels.  Please feel free to call if you do not see a program that fits your needs so that we can customize one to better suit you.

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  • Bird Field Trip Program

    Field Guide b

    In addition to our regular Field Trip Program, our new “All About Birds” program was introduced in the spring of 2013 for educators who are looking for a bird specific field trip. 

    A field guide developed by the Refuge and Discovery School is available for students to use during the field trip. 

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  • Night Hike Program

    Northern Saw-whet Owl

    Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge offers guided night hikes for groups of twenty students or less throughout the summer and early fall. Call to reserve your hike that will walk you through the wonders of the nocturnal world of Turnbull.  These hikes are packed with experiences that will stretch your senses! Take in the expanse of stars blooming in the dark sky, listen to the coyotes calling and feel the cool night wind on your face.  Night hikes also offer the chance to spot many creatures of darkness who are seldom seen by the light of day. Night hikes and other daytime summer activities are available by calling the refuge between 7:30 and 4:00, Monday – Friday.  Don’t let this fun and educational opportunity pass you by!