The Lifeways, Landscapes and Wildlife Interpretive Program is a series of workshops, lectures, demonstrations, hands-on student experiences, and cultural events that interprets and emphasizes the tangible connection between environment and people.  This program aims to facilitate the understanding of the local cultural and historical impacts using the following components:

Artist in Residence Series: The Plankhouse hosts a series of Artists-in Residence demonstrations of Chinookan arts and culture during the months of April-June, especially for school groups. Past artists have demonstrated basket making, traditional foods and preparation techniques, and paint-making with a variety of minerals, ores, and clays.  To coordinate your school group trip to the Refuge with the Artist in Residence Series contact or call (360) 887-4106.

Second Sunday Series: The Plankhouse hosts a series of presentations on Chinookan culture, archaeology, and natural history the second Sunday of every month from April-October.

Traditional Skills Workshops: Experienced teachers lead workshops on subjects ranging from wapato gathering/preparation to flintknapping and basket weaving.

Seasonal Gathering Series: The Plankhouse hosts cultural gatherings highlighting significant changes in the seasonal round and focusing on resources and traditions specific to the season.  One of our more notable seasonal gatherings is the Autumn Salmon Bake which is included in the Birdfest festivities in October.

See our calendar for a list of upcoming Lifeways, Landscapes and Wildlife activities in the Plankhouse or contact the Plankhouse Coordinator, Sarah Hill, at (360) 887-4106 for more information.  You can also receive our newsletter and notifications of upcoming events by contacting and requesting to be added to the email list.

*The Plankhouse is ADA accessible through special arrangement. Please call the refuge office during regular business hours if you need special accommodation.


2015 Second Sunday Event Series

Ukuk gáɬapʼutɬ’x‘ laplash haws ix̣puy lapot khapa kul-iliʔi
The Cathlapotle Plankhouse is now closed for the winter

Hayu masi pus ixt wəx̣t ɬush kuhl khapa gáɬapʼutɬ’x‘ laplash haws! Thank you for another great year at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse! 2014 saw some record setting attendance at Plankhouse programs, and we are very grateful for all the support the community has shown the Refuge and the Plankhouse over the years. The house is now closed for the winter, and will re-open in the spring . 2015 is a big year for both the Plankhouse and the Refuge as both will be celebrating big milestones. With the 50th anniversary of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the 10th anniversary of the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, celebrations and special events are in the works! Watchout for the 2015 season events and workshops to be posted in the spring, and subscribe to the Friends E News letter to receive monthly up-to-date information on Refuge happenings and Plankhouse anniversary  events. Email to be added to the E news list.