All volunteer positions are on hold during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We are working on new policies and procedures for when we are able to bring volunteers back.  Thank you for your patience and stay safe!


We're looking for energetic stewards of all ages to help us make our future projects successful.


Whether you are a student looking for experience or community service, retired and looking to find a way to use your skills to help wildlife or educate students, or working full time and need a way to decompress after a long week, we have something for you!  Let us know how you want to get involved by filling out our Volunteer Interested form here.


Habitat & Trail Maintenance: We currently have two ways to get involved on a monthly basis out at Steigerwald Lake NWR.  Every Monday morning from 9am to 12pm volunteers meet at the Refuge to maintain the trail and facilities, work in the nursery, and complete restoration projects.  These regular volunteers also have extra opportunities to volunteer at the other Gorge Refuges as a thank you for all the hard work they put in keeping the trail in tip top shape for visitors to enjoy.  If you are unable to join us during the week, come on out to one of our 3rd Saturday Work Parties from 9am-12pm each month.  These events require no special skills, all you need to do is dress for the weather and bring your enthusiasm for wildlife and the outdoors!  Work typically includes removing invasive plants, maintaining planting sites, and planting native plants. We provide gloves, tools, and most importantly, snacks!


Outreach & Interpretation: Help us spread the word of conservation to the local community and educate visitors about the Refuge.  Volunteers set up information tables at the trailhead as well as off-site events.  Encourage others to be stewards of the Refuge and their local environment.  No Experience necessary and training is provided.

Outreach Table


Trail Stewards: Visitors are eager to ask questions and tell their stories while at the Refuge. Share your enthusiasm for nature with visitors by providing friendly customer service and knowledge about the Refuge while walking the Art Trail when your schedule allows.  Training is required for this important role as the face of the Refuge!


Also inquire about helping with other projects to include:

Purple Martin band reading and locating nests: Every year volunteers help band and monitor over 100 purple martins each year at Ridgefield, Steigerwald, and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges.  We need volunteers with good eyesight and optics to help read band numbers of returning birds as well as search cottonwoods along Gibbons Creek for natural nests.  

Become a Board or Committee Member: We are looking for volunteers to help us work toward our strategic plan goals and bring fresh ideas on how to connect our community with the Gorge Refuges. You do not need to be a board member to serve on a committee.  Committees include: Habitat, Community Connections, Advocacy, and Fundraising. 


If you are interested in helping us fulfill our mission, fill out our Volunteer Interested form here.  If you have questions about any of the above opportunities, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Jared Strawderman, at volunteer@refugestewards.org or 360-835-8767.


All volunteers must fill out a Volunteer Service Agreement once a year to volunteer at any Refuge within the complex.  It can be downloaded here or filled out at your first day volunteering. Volunteers under the age of 18 will need a guardian to fill out the parental consent section on the second page prior to volunteering. 


Become a Community Scientist: Would you like to turn your love of wildlife and the outdoors into data that helps us all better understand our natural world and supports conservation? Do you like technology? There are several Citizen Science programs where you can make a difference. Check out these projects and put your smarts and smartphone to use!


Nature's Notebook This nationwide project is an national online project where amateur and professional naturalists record observations of plants and animals to generate long-term data sets used for scientific discovery and decision making.


iNaturalist Learn more about nature and contribute to a database of global biodiversity by becoming part of the iNaturalist community. You can even crowdsource a plant or animal identification! We have held 2 Eco-Blitzs at Steigerwald where we documented all the species we could on the Refuge in one day and documented it here on iNaturalist.


eBird This is a program managed by the Cornell Lab for Ornithology collects rich data on bird abundance and distribution across the world. You can submit your own observations via your computer or smart phone. You can view current species sightings of wherever you are birding which is very handy if you are new to an area.  Here is a link to the Steigerwald Lake NWR Hotspot.


The Great BackYard Bird Count (GBC) is an event that engages people all over the nation in creating a real time snapshot of bird populations. Anyone can help with this, from your backyard, or a wildlife refuge.


Report sightings of invasive species using a free app on your smartphone. More details and links to download on the Washington Invasive Species Council website.

All volunteer positions on hold during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We are working on new policies and procedures for when we are able to bring volunteers back.  Thank you for your patience and stay safe!


We're looking for energetic stewards of all ages to help us make our future projects successful.


Whether you are a student looking for experience or community service, retired and looking to find a way to use your skills to help wildlife or educate students, or working full time and need a way to decompress after a long week, we have something for you!  Let us know how you want to get involved by filling out our Volunteer Interested form here.


Habitat & Trail Maintenance: We currently have two ways to get involved on a monthly basis out at Steigerwald Lake NWR.  Every Monday morning from 9am to 12pm volunteers meet at the Refuge to maintain the trail and facilities, work in the nursery, and complete restoration projects.  These regular volunteers also have extra opportunities to volunteer at the other Gorge Refuges as a thank you for all the hard work they put in keeping the trail in tip top shape for visitors to enjoy.  If you are unable to join us during the week, come on out to one of our 3rd Saturday Work Parties from 9am-12pm each month.  These events require no special skills, all you need to do is dress for the weather and bring your enthusiasm for wildlife and the outdoors!  Work typically includes removing invasive plants, maintaining planting sites, and planting native plants. We provide gloves, tools, and most importantly, snacks!


Outreach & Interpretation: Help us spread the word of conservation to the local community and educate visitors about the Refuge.  Volunteers set up information tables at the trailhead as well as off-site events.  Encourage others to be stewards of the Refuge and their local environment.  No Experience necessary and training is provided.

Outreach Table


Trail Stewards: Visitors are eager to ask questions and tell their stories while at the Refuge. Share your enthusiasm for nature with visitors by providing friendly customer service and knowledge about the Refuge while walking the Art Trail when your schedule allows.  Training is required for this important role as the face of the Refuge!


Also inquire about helping with other projects to include:

Purple Martin band reading and locating nests: Every year volunteers help band and monitor over 100 purple martins each year at Ridgefield, Steigerwald, and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges.  We need volunteers with good eyesight and optics to help read band numbers of returning birds as well as search cottonwoods along Gibbons Creek for natural nests.  

Become a Board or Committee Member: We are looking for volunteers to help us work toward our strategic plan goals and bring fresh ideas on how to connect our community with the Gorge Refuges. You do not need to be a board member to serve on a committee.  Committees include: Habitat, Community Connections, Advocacy, and Fundraising. 


If you are interested in helping us fulfill our mission, fill out our Volunteer Interested form here.  If you have questions about any of the above opportunities, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Jared Strawderman, at volunteer@refugestewards.org or 360-835-8767.


All volunteers must fill out a Volunteer Service Agreement once a year to volunteer at any Refuge within the complex.  It can be downloaded here or filled out at your first day volunteering. Volunteers under the age of 18 will need a guardian to fill out the parental consent section on the second page prior to volunteering. 


Become a Community Scientist: Would you like to turn your love of wildlife and the outdoors into data that helps us all better understand our natural world and supports conservation? Do you like technology? There are several Citizen Science programs where you can make a difference. Check out these projects and put your smarts and smartphone to use!


Nature's Notebook This nationwide project is an national online project where amateur and professional naturalists record observations of plants and animals to generate long-term data sets used for scientific discovery and decision making.


iNaturalist Learn more about nature and contribute to a database of global biodiversity by becoming part of the iNaturalist community. You can even crowdsource a plant or animal identification! We have held 2 Eco-Blitzs at Steigerwald where we documented all the species we could on the Refuge in one day and documented it here on iNaturalist.


eBird This is a program managed by the Cornell Lab for Ornithology collects rich data on bird abundance and distribution across the world. You can submit your own observations via your computer or smart phone. You can view current species sightings of wherever you are birding which is very handy if you are new to an area.  Here is a link to the Steigerwald Lake NWR Hotspot.


The Great BackYard Bird Count (GBC) is an event that engages people all over the nation in creating a real time snapshot of bird populations. Anyone can help with this, from your backyard, or a wildlife refuge.


Report sightings of invasive species using a free app on your smartphone. More details and links to download on the Washington Invasive Species Council website.