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The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is one of a handful of urban national wildlife refuges in the country that offers people a place to escape the city

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood offers a quiet spot amid the chaos of the city.

The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is one of a handful of urban national wildlife refuges in the country. It is close to home but offers a place where people can escape the city and experience nature in a quiet setting. Its diverse habitats support some of the most abundant and varied wildlife in the Tualatin River watershed.

The refuge is home to nearly 200 species of birds, more than 50 species of mammals and a variety of insects, fish and plants. Every month offers a different aspect of nature and July is a good month to visit.

The refuge is offering activities in July to help people become better acquainted with the birds and wildlife at the facility. If you wanted to learn about the creatures that live on the refuge, join us for one of two wildlife walks led by a naturalist. If you're walking on your own, stop by the trailhead nature tables to learn what you might see as you walk. Children of all ages can come to Drop-in Exploration Days every Sunday and enjoy free activities and crafts. For the pre-school kids, there is the always popular Puddle Stompers, rain or shine. There are three off site activities in July if you can't make it to the refuge. Complete information is available at www.friendsoftualatinrefuge.org.

Wildlife Walks: 8:30 to 10 a.m. July 6 and July 13

Join a naturalist on a morning wildlife walk and discover the creatures that call the refuge home. Bring a pair of binoculars, bird book or field guide on this family-friendly walk and explore the habitats of the refuge. Registration is required for this free event. Meet at the flag pole at 8:20 a.m.

Trailhead Nature Table: 'Plentiful Plants', noon to 2 p.m. July 6; 'Birds of Prey,' noon to 2 p.m. July 12

Drop in at our trailhead table to see what you can discover on the refuge during your hike. Each trailhead table talk has a different theme, so stop by and see what you can explore! 

Drop-in Exploration Days: noon to 2 p.m. July 7, 14, 21, 28

This activity will continue throughout the summer with various themes rotating weekly.

Join us for free activities and crafts in our environmental education classroom. Come explore animal tracks and make your own to take home. All ages are welcome and activities extend to the visitor center. No registration is required for this drop-in program. Stay as long as you like within the two-hour time frame.

Puddle Stompers: 'Bats' from 1 to 2:30 p.m. July 10 and 10 to 11:30 a.m. July 16

This pre-school environmental education program invites children and their families to spend the morning learning about the natural wonders of the refuge. Volunteer naturalists lead nature crafts, share stories and guide hikes on refuge trails. The refuge supplies "Froggy" raingear for the kids, but adults should bring their own. Each month has a new theme. Registration is required by visiting the Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife website at https://fotr.wildapricot.org/event-32458985. If you have questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-625-5944.

Second Saturday Work Party: 8:15 a.m. to noon July 13

Meet at the refuge, 19255 S.W. Highway 99W in Sherwood, at 8:45 a.m. to check in and go to the work site around 9 a.m. Snacks and work gloves will be provided. Wear sturdy shoes and pants, plan for cold weather and rain and bring a water bottle. For more information, email restoration specialist This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Nature Ambassadors at the Oregon Zoo: 'Pelts and Skulls,' noon to 3 p.m. July 19

What animals live around us in our communities? Animals such as small as squirrels and as large as coyotes make our neighborhoods home. Explore the wildlife that lives among us. Discover how our communities as filled with wildlife and learn ways we can keep their habitats healthy.

Bilingual Story Hour with Sherwood Library at Stella Olsen Park: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 25

Enjoy a craft sponsored by Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge at the library's bilingual story hour.

Pam Farris is a member of Friends of the Refuge

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