A roundup of news and events from the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." — Rachel Carson

 Have you ever thought of nature as stress relief? When you're walking the trail at the Refuge or ambling down a path in your local park, notice the change in your feelings, attitude, and your general outlook on life. As you walk and listen, you will notice that your body starts to relax and you start to tune into the sights and sounds around you. Take some deep breaths and let the sounds of the songbirds, the call of the geese or the sight of a blue heron waiting patiently for lunch soothe and calm you. These experiences, however brief,  make us aware of the larger world around us and the creatures that share it with us. The more time you spend in nature, the more you will observe and want to learn. 

Tualatin River Photo Society 

7 p.m. Thursday, March 1, Visitors Center (enter by side door)

Join us for a presentation by Ken Hawkins, a photojournalist, who has covered politics, disasters and conflict zones since 1970. He has worked globally for TIME, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Forbes, Paris Match, the New York Times, Newsweek and the British Broadcasting Corporation. He lives in Lake Oswego with his wife and sons.

Amphibian Egg Mass Survey

8 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 3

8 a.m.-noon Friday, March 9

8 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 17

8 a.m.-noon Friday, March 23

Help the Refuge biological staff survey for native amphibian egg masses. We will be conducting surveys on multiple wetland units across the Refuge to determine amphibian usage. 

Meet at the Refuge headquarters, 19255 S.W. Pacific Highway at 8 a.m. to get gear together and be done surveying by noon. A limited number of waders are available to borrow. Surveying will involve walking through water up to waist-deep and some stooping. If you have not taken an amphibian egg mass training this year, please contact Sarah Williams at before registering.

Puddle Stompers

1-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14

10-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 20

Do you have a little one who enjoys being outdoors? Are you wondering what they can do during the rainy season? Bring your little naturalist to the Refuge to stomp in puddles and learn to appreciate the wet weather that makes Oregon so green. This preschool environmental education program invites

children and their families to spend time learning about the natural wonders of the Refuge. Volunteer naturalists will lead nature crafts, share stories, and guide hikes on Refuge trails. Free and open to the public, but registration is required. Questions? Please contact Seth Winkelhake or call 503-625-5944.

Winter Twigs

10 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 24

Join Refuge naturalists to learn about identifying plants in their winter, leafless form. We'll provide a guide and you can see the plants on the trail, ask questions, and have fun. All levels and ages are welcome.  

Spring Break Exploration Days

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, March 26, to Friday, March 30,

As spring emerges from the dark days of winter and students emerge from the classroom, we invite your whole family to discover the amazing wildlife at the Refuge during Spring Break Exploration Days. This weekday event features hands-on nature activities and crafts for kids of all ages. Each day offers a different theme, so feel free to drop in as much as you'd like. Activities will start in the classroom and will be held rain or shine.

This a free activity. No registration is required. For more information, contact Education Coordinator Seth Winkelhake, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-625-5944.

Save the Date! 

The 22nd annual Tualatin River Bird Festival will be held May 19. This family-friendly event is filled with activities for everyone. Join us for early morning bird walks, the Portland Audubon live bird show, fish migration putt-putt golf, lamprey tank, birdhouse building, and the always popular wagon rides around the Refuge. See the Friends website at for more information and updates about this year's festival.

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