Cathlapotle Plankhouse Mother's Day Celebration

May 14 – 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Along the Columbia River Indigenous women tended to plants important for food, medicine, and trade. This Mother’s Day, bring mom out to the Refuge to learn about these plants and about plants you can connect with in your neighborhood.

Tours, Kids Activites, and Wild Tea Samples (while supplies last)
1 PM – Tending the Wild walk and talk – Discover ways women in Cathlapotle cared for their plant relatives
2 PM – Family Nature Walk
3 PM – Soothing Herbal Salve Making Demonstration

Free with Refuge admission:

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May 2017 Second Sunday FINAL


Wednesdays and Saturdays are our habitat volunteer days!
Email for more info or to sign up!

Education volunteers are in high demand! Email to find out more and to sign up!

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Naturalist Led Hikes

The following listings are for Steigerwald Lake, Pierce, and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuges.  Limited space is available.  Sign up by calling (360) 887-4106 or emailing

Other groups that may be offering guided hikes are; Backyard Birdshop, Vancouver Audubon, Portland Audubon, and the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge.

  • Birding at Ridgefield NWR

    The following hikes are led by Ron Escano.  They start at 8 am at the respective trail head and last two to three hours.  These hikes are free, however you are required to pay the Refuge $3 daily entrance fee (free with Federal Lands Pass or Refuge Annual Pass).  Please bring cash or applicable pass and allow yourself an extra 5 minutes to register at the self service kiosk.  Click here for more information about passes and fees at Ridgefield NWR. Limit to 15 people. Sign up by calling (360) 887-4106 or emailing

    Oaks to Wetlands Trail on the Carty Unit: 
    • Sunday April 23rd
    • Saturday May 13th
    • Saturday May 27th
    Kiwa Trail
    • Sunday May 7th- FULL
    • Sunday May 21st
    • Saturday June 3rd


  • Birding at Steigerwald Lake NWR

    The following hikes are led by Ron Escano. They start at 8 am at the respective trail head and last two to three hours. There is no entrance fee at this site.

    •Saturday April 29th

    •Saturday May 20th

    •Saturday June 10th

    Click here to learn more about the Steigerwald Lake Refuge and trail.

    Whether you are new to birding or have been watching them your whole life, Ron Escano offers easy and interesting ways to learn about this amazing world of feather friends. A retired USFWS biologist and life long birder, Ron has been leading these walks for over a decade at the Refuge and for the Audobon society. Join him on refuge trails at Ridgefield and Steigerwald Lake this Spring to find out who might be flying in!

Cathlapotle Plankhouse Second Sundays

2017 Plankhouse 2nd Sunday Events2017 2nd-Sunday_Rack-Card-top

The Plankhouse will be open from 12:00 PM-4:00 PM on each of the following days. House tours, kids activities, and naturalist guided walks are included with every event. These events are free with refuge admission. Stop by any time between 12 and 4!

June 11- (1:00 PM) – Colonizing Native History – Dr. David Lewis Dr. Lewis will explore commonly known “Native” oral histories such as the creation of the Bridge of the Gods. He will examine why these stories have been so popular among non-native people in the Pacific Northwest, and how these stories can actually contribute to the erasure of Indigenous histories.

July 9- Oak Appreciation Day Oregon White Oak ecosystems in the PNW are deeply connected with Indigenous Peoples. Learn about human and oak relationships, rare oak habitat at the Refuge, and how you can help these ecosystems.

August 13- Traditional Technologies Day Visit the Plankhouse and learn about tools and techniques that people in Cathlapotle, and around the world, have used since time immemorial. Learn how to throw an atlatl, shoot a bow and arrow, make friction fire, weave, see stone tools be created, and more at this hands on event!

September 10- (1:00 PM)- Traditional Ecological Knowledge & Climate Change Dr. Samantha Chisholm Hatfield Dr. Hatfield will offer new perspectives on how traditional ecological knowledge can be brought to bear on climate change in the Pacific Northwest.



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