Special Evening Presentation and Night Hike

Special event! Join host, Ethnobotonist and author Kat Anderson at the Plankhouse for a special presentation, “Beauty, Bounty and Biodiversity,” and night hike! May 26th, 7-8:30pm,  free with refuge admission.

The Night Hike is FULL!

7:00pm: Kat Anderson will share connections with California and Pacific Northwest tribes, by examining traditionally managed edible wildlflower gardens of California. She will also explore the implication that these gardens have for fostering pollinator habitat, increasing biodiversity, and the ways in which these plants have evolved to meet the needs of people.

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Cathlapotle Plankhouse June Second Sunday

The Plankhouse is open from 12:00 PM-4:00 PM. 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!

”Colonizing Native History” – 1:00 PM
Our keynote speaker, Dr. David Lewis, will take a look at these and other stories that are often accepted as coming from indigenous cultures, and examine the effects of colonizing Native History.

Plankhouse Tours from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Explore hands on displays inside the Plankhouse and family-friendly activities throughout the day.

Guided walk at 2:00 PM
Join a Refuge Naturalist to explore relationships between the Chinookan People & the landscape of the Refuge.

Free with Refuge admission:

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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!

  • Birding at Pierce NWR

    The following hikes are led by long term volunteer and Columbia River Gorge Refuge Stewards member Randy Fortish.  This refuge is closed to the public outside of these special walks.

    • May 14th

    • June 11th

    • June 25th

    Click here to learn more about Pierce National Wildlife Refuge

Eco-Blitz 2017!

Get your hands dirty and join us at the Refuge at our first Eco-Blitz…

An Eco-Blitz is a one day event to document as many species as possible with the help of experts in different fields and YOU!

We hope the information collected from this event can be used as a baseline for what species are on the Refuge prior to our large restoration project taking place in 2019. Join us to discover what awaits you at the Refuge, both out in the open and hidden from the untrained eye. This free family-friendly event is open to all ages. No experience necessary.

For more information contact Jared Strawderman, phone: 360-835-8767

Event hosted by Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex and its partners, the Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards.

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Summer Teacher Camp

Science & Culture: Our place through different lenses
July 24, 25, 26
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
At Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
& Water Resources Education Center

•Find out ways to bring indigenous cultures and western science into your classroom
•Participate in activities connected to NGSS and Washington State’s “Since Time Immemorial” curriculum
•Examine best practices for culturally informed environmental education
•Explore field trip options supporting workshop themes

18 Clock Hours Available

For more information & to sign up :
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Teacher Training 2017


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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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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