Ways to Get Involved

Whether you want to further conservation through hands-on opportunities, learn more about nature by joining a program or event, or share your love of nature with our youngest generations, you’ve come to the right place!

National Wildlife Refuges provide many opportunities for you to get involved and help your community by doing what you love. We partner with other government agencies, non-profit organizations, volunteers, youth/community groups, school, landowners, and neighbors in order to successfully carryout our mission. Find out how you can help below! 


Bring the skills you already have or learn some new ones by volunteering at the refuge complex. Many opportunities exist for you to donate your time and talents for conservation. Whether you want to give a few hours now or hope to participate in on-going activities, the refuge has projects for individuals and groups. Explore the list below for ways to support local wildlife and habitats.

Biological Monitoring

To ensure conservation measures are needed or working effectively, environmental conditions and wildlife are monitored on an on-going basis. From birds to fish to plants! Some existing knowledge is helpful to complete these tasks, but not always necessary. Training may be available.

Habitat Restoration

Invasive species are one of conservation's greatest struggles. Search for and pull invasive plants, and plant native plants! Several restoration projects need on-going plant removal. This opportunity often involves work days for a group of volunteers. 

Trail Stewards

Our most flexible volunteer opportunity! Already hiking our trails? Report back to us about trail conditions, maintain interpretive signage, communicate with other refuge visitors, and more. 

Education and Outreach

Sharing the stories of wildlife and conservation is an important part of ensuring a future full of land stewards and refuge support. There are many ways to contribute, from behind the scenes or on the front line. Opportunities include the environmental education program with local 4th grade students, tabling at community festivals and events, and assisting with the Wings Over Willapa festival each September. 

Facilities Maintenance

Buildings, sign and trails take effort to maintain. Help inventory and maintain refuge signs, keep our headquarters grounds looking great or donate your carpentry skills.

Administrative Support

There s plenty to do in the office, too! Help with data entry, filing or scanning historic documents, and more. Use your natural history skills to identify images of wildlife, and/or help refuge staff organize historical photographs.

Excited by something on the list or have unique talents you want to share? Contact us at willapa@fws.gov

Our Partners

When it comes to the conservation of wildlife, every piece of the puzzle is needed; from the obscure juvenile stage of the Pacific lamprey to healthy stream systems, a thriving estuary, and the people that interact with this place. Landscape-level conservation and species survival requires large-scale thinking and shared resources to be successful. Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Complex partners with a multitude of agencies, organizations and individuals to combine resources such as knowledge, equipment, land, and people for wildlife-focused conservation efforts.


Wings Over Willapa Festival

This annual nature, birding and art festival is a celebration of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge’s many species and diverse habitats. We’ll have an amazing array of tours, workshops and other events happening all around the Long Beach Peninsula and Willapa Bay.

Whether you’re an experienced birder or just getting acquainted with the great outdoors, nature lovers of all ages are sure to find plenty to do. We look forward to seeing you!

We’ll be returning for Wings Over Willapa on September 22-24, 2023 – we invite you to join us! 

This event is hosted by our Friends Group, Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

You can also keep up to date by following along on Facebook and Instagram

Education Programs

Julia Butler Hansen Refuge is a wondrous outdoor laboratory full of opportunities to supplement and support your classroom activities.

Plan a Field Trip 

Want to bring your classroom to the refuge? Trails offer opportunities for self-created exploration, participate in service projects or biological inventories, or inquire about a ranger-led excursion.

Ask a Ranger 

Seeking a subject matter expert to share the unique stories of Julia Butler Hansen Refuge with your group? Refuge staff and volunteers may be available to join your class at your school or on the refuge. Contact us to learn more: willapa@fws.gov 

Additional Ways to Bring Wildlife to Your Classroom 

Wildlife and National Wildlife Refuges create unlimited subjects for study. Have students research, prepare a project on, and share about one of the 587 National Wildlife Refuges. Challenge students to become a Junior Refuge Ranger to research and make decisions about a local wildlife concern. Participate in the Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Work with your school and local library to gather wildlife related books to share with your class. Explore a variety of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service curriculum here.