Cathlapotle Mother’s Day

Cathlapotle plankhouse

Sunday, May 8, 2016 – 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Cathlapotle Plankhouse
28908 NW Main Avenue, Ridgefield WA

1:00 – Presentation: Where the Women Are: Gender and Power in the Archaeological Record of the Pacific Northwest

2:00 – Ethnobotany Hike

Plankhouse tours and kids’ activities all day.

All events  are FREE with refuge admission

BirdFest & Bluegrass

Do you love attending our annual BirdFest celebration? Do you want to see it be successful in 2016? If so, then we need you to get involved in planning next year’s event. Commitment is one two hour meeting a month, March – September, and volunteering BirdFest Weekend (October 1st & 2nd).

We are looking for help in the following areas:

Committee Chair (Work with current committee chair to schedule/host monthly meetings, and handle big picture event logistics)

Organizing kids activities in Davis Park

Coordinating the vendors in the Birders Marketplace at the Community Center

Coordinate special walks or talks

Just sit in and brainstorm new and exciting BirdFest activities!

Want to Make BirdFest a success?

Contact Sarah at: (360) 887-4106

Volunteer Naturalist Training at the Refuge

Fish & Wildlife

Thousands of adults and school children visit our local refuges annually and volunteers are often the only people they get to share their stories and questions with. Share your interest and passion with others by exploring with school children, leading guided walks with the public, or simply greeting people on our trails and in the contact station.

Volunteer training will introduce both Ridgefield and Steigerwald Lake Refuges and how to interact and communicate with many fun and interesting people.  The training will be on the four Fridays of April.

To sign up for the training, please RSVP to Josie Finley at 360-887-4106 or

Plankhouse Opens April 17

Friends of RNWR

The Cathlapotle Plankhouse re-opens for the 2016 season on April 17th, 2016. The season will kick off with a special second Sunday event featuring the latest in Cathlapotle Village archaeology, artifacts excavated from the Cathlapotle site on display, and hikes guided highlighting spring and a family friendly hike focusing on Refuge Wildlife. The Plankhouse will be open for visitors from 12pm-4pm, and there will be kids’ activities as well.

The Cathlapotle Plankhouse will now be open most weekends from12pm-4pm. Every second Sunday of the month the Plankhouse hosts a special event with speakers, guided hikes, and children’s activities. For more information on the upcoming events, visit

Docent Training at Refuge

Cathlapotle plankhouse

Get Involved at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse!

The Plankhouse is looking for new and enthusiastic volunteers interested in learning about and sharing local Native American Culture, NW History, and Archeology with public visitors inside the Cathlapotle Plankhouse. No experience necessary, just a desire to learn and share your knowledge with others.

In our Docent Training at the Carty Unit, you will learn about the Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia, the roles of a Plankhouse docent, and interpretive techniques to share the Refuge and the Plankhouse with the public.

For more info, call (360) 887-4106 or email

NW Organic Farms Offers CSA Shares

NW Organic Farms logo

Northwest Organic Farms is a family run organic farm located in the lush area of Ridgefield, WA.   It is a short 10 minute drive off I-5 to the farm. The farm is run by owners/farmers Greg, Joyce, and Ben. They have been farming since 2001.

Farmers Greg and Ben have been busy getting ready for this upcoming 2016 CSA season. Heirloom seeds are being planted, fruit trees are being pruned, and the green houses are growing crops that go to local businesses throughout the area during all seasons.  The happy and free-ranging chickens are laying their eggs. They are for sale on a self-service basis at $5 a dozen. Their ducks have started laying as well, but they do need a phone call to hold both types of eggs for you. Once their ‘girls’ get going they will have them available without a phone call.

They are now taking CSA applications 2016 season. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a way to buy fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the farmer in your local community. Supporting local agriculture is a way to support your local business community, your neighbors and keep your food dollars in the local economy.

Their CSA runs for 20 weeks. There are two kinds of shares. The full share basket feeds 5-6 people and goes for $630. Half share baskets feed 2-3 people and cost $350. A deposit of $100 is needed to save your share, and the ull amount due must be received before May 1st.  They accept WIC, EBT, and Senior Coupons.

Northwest Organic Farms sells produce from their farm stand and at the Camas farmers market. Examples are organic raspberries by the flat, canning tomatoes, etc.

Follow them on Facebook. It will be updated with what’s for sale at the farm, as well as what’s in their CSA bags, recipes, events, and so much more!

Northwest Organic Farms is located at 17713 NW 61st Ave. Ridgefield. You can find more information here.

Two Job Openings at RCUMC

Stained glass window

Family Ministries Director

Ridgefield Community United Methodist Church seeks a Family Ministries Director. Responsibilities include leading the Children’s Ministry Team, organizing Children’s Church (grades K-5), assisting with Youth Group (grades 7-12), organizing staff for nursery care, and planning special events, like Vacation Bible School, with the Children’s Ministry Team. Applicants should love children and have experience working with children, will be highly organized and self-motivated, will love living out their faith in a congregation and will comply with Safe Sanctuary policies. RCUMC is a generationally-diverse suburban congregation with a commitment to children, youth and families.

Nursery Caregiver

Ridgefield Community United Methodist Church seeks a Nursery Caregiver. Responsibilities include providing excellent, loving care for children (infants through 5 years) during Sunday morning services, maintaining a safe and clean nursery environment, and being open to providing care for other church events as schedules allow. Applicants will have experience working with children, will be CPR certified, will comply with state and local background checks, and will enjoy working in a church environment. RCUMC is generationally-diverse suburban congregation with a commitment to children and families.

To apply for either job:

For full job description and application inquiries, contact Dean Brown, personnel committee chair, at 360-263-2925 or To apply, submit cover letter, resume and two references to Mr. Brown.


A Photo Op

Mayor's Chair

Expecting guests for the holidays? The Mayor’s Chair at Overlook Park is a great place for a picture of the whole family – line them up along the rungs.

Or have them pose next to our bear, just a little northwest of the chair.

Giving Tuesday Movement

Friends of RNWR

Until November 24th, the GivingTuesday movement is running #MyGivingStory, a new storytelling contest that will highlight acts of generosity that take place out of the public spotlight.

They are asking individuals across the country to share their personal reasons for giving, and then share those stories with their communities.

As a supporter of the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, we’d be honored if you would take this opportunity to reflect upon your commitment to our work.

The top 15 essays “liked” on Facebook will be sent to a distinguished panel of judges for final adjudication. Winners will be announced on #GivingTuesday December 1st!

Winners will receive GlobalGiving gift cards ranging from $100-500. The nonprofit they write about in their essay will receive $1,000-5,000 grants.

Upworthy will also develop and share articles featuring the two first-place winning stories.

How to Enter #MyGivingStory

Go to the contest entry form ( or visit the #MyGivingStory tab on #GivingTuesday’s Facebook page.Post a short essay (200-words or more) responding to the question, “What inspires you to give?” In it, tell the story of a specific instance in which you supported the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in a way that was meaningful to you. Submit your essay by November 24.

Share and promote your submission on social media with #MyGivingStory and #GivingTuesday.

The top 15 essays “liked” on Facebook will be sent to a distinguished panel of judges for final adjudication.

Contact with any questions!

Bear at Overlook Park

bear Oct 2015

Recently I walked through Overlook Park and took these pictures of the bronze bear statue that was donated to Ridgefield by artist ‘Ratso’ Ratterman. This is not the final location for the bear, but one to let everyone know we have it and how spectacular it is. It will be permanently affixed in a suitable area for display, and at that time the artist will be honored formally.

Another addition to the park is the black metal bench that will be installed on a concrete pad along the pathway. I didn’t take a photo of it because it’s just sitting on the lawn at this time, while we wait for the concrete to cure, but the designs on the back echo the designs on the panels above the stage. Check it out when you’re downtown – the park just keeps getting better and better.

Tree Planting at the Refuge

Friends of RNWR

Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is looking for volunteers to help with tree plantings throughout the fall and winter. We will be planting 5200 native trees and shrubs to create forage and habitat for the endangered Columbian White-tailed Deer, in areas of the Refuge that are not commonly open to the public.
Our first tree planting is on October 28th, from 9am to 12:30pm. Meet at the River ‘S’ Unit contact station, down the hill at 1071 S Hillhurst Rd. Contact Aiden Forsi at for more information!

Bridge to Refuge is Dedicated

It was a glorious sunny morning as the new footbridge to the Carty Unit of the Refuge was dedicated. Blessings were give by Chinookan and Cowlitz representatives, and Refuge people and others spoke.

A plaited line made of cattail fronds blocked the entrance until after the ceremony

A plaited line made of cattail fronds blocked the entrance until after the ceremony

Kids unveiled the new kiosk celebrating the Refuge

Kids unveiled the new kiosk celebrating the Refuge

Detail under the roof of the kiosk

Detail under the roof of the kiosk

Three artists stepped forward at the last minute when a panel for the kiosk was not ready in time, and created paintings to use. Left to right: Bud Fields, Beth Norwood, Kara Krieger-McGhee.

Three artists stepped forward at the last minute when a panel for the kiosk was not ready in time, and created paintings to use in the display.
Left to right: Bud Fields, Beth Norwood, Kara Krieger-McGhee.

Kids prepared to sever the plaited line made of cattail fronds that was stretched across the bridge entrance.

Kids prepared to sever the plaited line made of cattail fronds that was stretched across the bridge entrance.

After all these years, a new bridge to the Refuge!

After all these years, a new bridge to the Refuge!

BirdFest this Weekend

Friends of RNWR

BirdFest and Bluegrass is this week-end. It’s our annual celebration of the coming of fall and the wildlife that make the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge their home. Things will be jumping throughout town and the Refuge – too many to list here. A complete schedule of events can be found here.

My note cards will be for sale at the Community Center in the Ridgefield Arts Association booth. Pictures of birds will be featured, but I’ll also have a selection of other cards made from my original paintings.

Give More 24!

An Amazing Day of Giving- An Amazing Way to Support the Ridgefield Refuge!

The Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is partnered in this year’s Give More 24! Campaign online giving challenge. This event organized by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, launches at 12 a.m. on September 24th and runs all day, so you can support us whenever it’s convenient for your schedule. It couldn’t come at a better time for the Refuge, which relies on the Friends for education and habitat restoration.

Your gift to the Friends will be supercharged!

We are asking you to rally friends and family for Friends of RNWR to help us raise crucial funds during 24 hours of local giving.

Please give whatever you can, because every gift will be multiplied through a large stretch pool – a cool $75,000—and twenty $1,000 prizes. The more money you help Friends of RNWR raise, the larger percentage of the stretch pool we will receive and more likely we are to win prize money – fund that increase opportunities for the public to enjoy and learn about the Refuge and keep habitats healthy for the wildlife we all want to protect.

It’s easy and fast to make a donation.

You can link directly to our donation page and donate by credit card: https;//

Your donations, whether large or small, will help us ensure that we have the staff and resources to accommodate every school group that wants to bring kids to the Refuge for an outdoor experience—to restore and maintain critical wildlife habitat—and to educate people through demonstrations of the art and culture of local native peoples at the Plankhouse. All donations are 100% tax deductavble.

Help us extend our reach

Forward this message to everyone you know and encourage them to support the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

Our heartfelt thanks for your support.


Help Make BirdFest a Success

Birds up close and personal, guided walks, kayak and canoe trips, Sandhill crane tours, seminars, free movies, Birder’s Marketplace, and award-winning bluegrass bands are just some of the treats awaiting you at this year’s BirdFest & Bluegrass weekend. Hone your wildlife photography skills or learn basic watercolor techniques. Explore the geology and cultural history of the Refuge. Enjoy a traditional salmon bake with drumming by members of the Chinook Indian Nation and Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde. Learn about the planned reintroduction of magnificent condors along the Columbia River. Find out what birds are talking about when they sing, chatter and squawk. Let your children explore engaging, hands-on activities or listen to skilled storytellers relate tales from the wild.   Raptors at BF

The official BirdFest schedule is available online at and shows you everything you’ll need to know to plan your fabulous weekend at the 2015 BirdFest & Bluegrass celebration. See you there!

Your Help Makes BirdFest a Success!

BirdFest is right around the corner, and that means we need a big flock of helpers. Increase your fun and make new friends by volunteering during part of the weekend. Here’s where we need extra hands:

  • Helping on Friday to set up the display of winning photographs from this year’s Photo Contest;
  • Greeting and orienting event guests at information tables and booths and selling Friends merchandise in Davis Park on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Helping direct visitor parking;
  • Collecting donations for the Friends during the bird show, canoe paddles, and other events;
  • Helping with event setup Saturday Morning and take-down Sunday evening;
  • Helping with the family activities in Davis Park or around the Plankhouse.