Ways to Get Involved

The refuge works with partners to offer opportunities to get involved in conservation both on-site and in the surrounding communities. Volunteer opportunities are project-based and get added throughout the year, so check back here often to see if something new offered aligns with your interests. 


Our volunteers are invaluable to us, with safety the main priority. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we are currently unable to operate at full capacity. The volunteer program is currently undergoing critical planning and development, including a reactivation plan to ensure our program comes back better than ever. When we are able to reinstate the program in full, we will be ready to provide the training, safety measures, and staff support needed to help this growing community connect in new and exciting ways. Please stay tuned for future opportunities to get involved with us. 

Our Partners

National wildlife refuges are often small pieces of broad landscapes, but the Refuge System commitment and vision are not small.  To be effective in confronting the challenges posed by climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change
, invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
, habitat fragmentation and development, the Refuge System must look beyond refuge boundaries to work and plan with multiple partners. 

Education Programs

Junior Duck Stamp - Art and Conservation Design Contest

For 2022, we are happy to announce that Ridgefield NWRC is hosting the contest for Washington State!

Refuges are a great place to visit, especially during the fall and winter if you want to observe a wide variety of waterfowl, including ducks, geese and swans. Of the eligible species you can create art of for the Junior Duck Stamp Art and Conservation Contest, many of them call our Refuges home. We hope that you will visit us to observe these animals and gain inspiration for your contest entry.

The natural world inspires many different artists and when you look at nature as art itself, you might just start to notice beauty often dismissed among the plants and wildlife you are looking at. Such as the beautiful colors not only of a male Wood duck, but the hidden shades of purple in a female Wood duck's feathers. Or the way a gray day in the pacific northwest looks even more gray in contrast to the white body of a swan.

 Find your inspiration at the Refuge and learn more below about the free Junior Duck Stamp Contest and how you or your class can enter. 

- Mesha Wood, Washington State Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator

What is it? 

The Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest provides students the opportunity to learn about conservation by connecting science and the arts. 

After studying waterfowl anatomy and their habitats students express what they have learned through the arts. Students may draw, paint, or sketch a picture of an eligible North American waterfowl species and enter it into the annual contest. Because students express themselves best in different formats, the conservation message contest gives students interested in creative writing an opportunity to use the written word to express their knowledge.  

Who can participate? 

All students in kindergarten through grade twelve (public, private, or homeschool) are encouraged to participate in this free contest as part of a school lesson and our curriculum, or through their own study and observation. Students from across the United States submit their artwork to the state, territory or district competition they reside in. A Best In Show from each competition is submitted to the (National?) Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, where a panel of judges will select one image to become the next Junior Duck Stamp 

How do you enter? 

All entries must be postmarked by the deadline: March 15, 2022.

Please note that due to our current office construction, entries must be mailed to one of the following addresses:


Ridgefield NWRC 
Jr Duck Stamp Contest 
28908 N Main Ave
Ridgefield, WA 98642 

United States Postal Service

Ridgefield NWRC  
Jr Duck Stamp Contest 
PO Box 457
Ridgefield, WA 98642 

Learn More:  

To learn more about the contest including a complete list of eligibility requirements, how to enter and contest rules please visit our National website. We encourage you to review our accompanying curriculum to help you engage your students. Click here for resources to get you started or find them also on the National website.  

For questions or other needs, please reach out to: 

Mesha Wood, Email: mesha_wood@fws.gov