Each year in October, refuges throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System promote awareness and appreciation of native wildlife and their habitats by hosting a variety of special events. Join in celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood by discovering and enjoying the diversity of fall wildlife this local refuge has to offer.
Fall and winter are spectacular times to visit the Refuge. As Arctic-nesting waterfowl begin their migration journey from their northern breeding grounds, bird activity increases on the Refuge. By late September, visitors will notice the first arrivals of waterfowl such as green-winged teal. By mid-winter, the Refuge boasts an average of 20,000 waterfowl, and in some years, more than 50,000 have been seen in a single day. October 1 marks the first day of the Refuge's "sanctuary" period where much of the Refuge, including the "seasonal trails," is closed to all public entry. This closure will remain in effect until May 1 in order to minimize disturbance to the abundant, yet vulnerable, winter waterfowl. The one-mile long "year-round trail," leaving from the main visitor entrance of the Refuge, off Highway 99W just north of Sherwood, remains open throughout the year. All scheduled Refuge Week activities, unless otherwise specified, will meet at this main entrance.
On Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15, at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m., Refuge Volunteer Naturalists will lead two-hour, two-mile nature walks on the refuge. No reservations required. Meet at the main trailhead.
Also on Saturday, at 12 p.m., the Refuge will partner with REI to present a one-hour "Leave No Trace" workshop for kids ages 5-13. Games and activities will teach participants how they can experience and be part of their environment and still be "light on the land." Afterwards, families are encouraged to join a guided nature walk, or head out on their own, to practice their new skills.
Volunteers are needed on October 14, from 9 a.m. to noon, to be part of the Refuge "trail crew." Meet at the main trailhead. Bring gloves, boots, tree pruning clippers, loppers and rakes to help prepare our nature trail for the winter.