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Kids bored with summer? Take them out to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

August is already here. It seems that we just celebrated the Fourth of July and now we're looking ahead to fall. School starts soon, but this is the month when the kids are seriously bored with the video games, the television, texting and are looking for something new to do. It's a perfect time for a walk on the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge or checking out one of the programs offered this month.SUBMITTED PHOTO - August is a busy month at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

The 2019 Federal Duck Stamps are now for sale in Nature's Overlook. Duck stamps are required for hunting waterfowl and are a collector's item for many people. Stamps sell for $25 and approximately 98 cents of every duck stamp dollar goes directly into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to purchase wetlands and wildlife habitat within the National Wildlife Refuge System. This year's stamp features a painting of a wood duck and decoy by artist Scott Storm, winner of the 2018 Federal Duck Stamp art contest.

The refuge has started a two-year project to restore Chicken Creek to its historic winding path, which will create additional habitat for a greater variety of fish and wildlife. The construction portion of the project began in July and is estimated to conclude in summer 2020. Expect to see heavy equipment visible in the wetlands digging the Chicken Creek channel when you come to refuge. New native vegetation will be planted throughout the project area and a section of the current wetland seasonal trail will be-rerouted and will increase the overall trail length by one-half mile, giving visitors three-and-a-half miles of walking trails.

Things to do on the refuge in August:

Drop In Exploration Days

12:30 - 2 p.m. Aug. 11. – Bald eagles

12:30 - 2 p.m. Aug. 18 – Worm composting

12:30 - 2 p.m. Aug. 25. – Creatures of the dark

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 are held in the visitor center. No registration is required for this drop-in program and stay as long as you like within the two-hour time frame.

Puddle Stompers

1-2:30 p.m. Aug. 14 – Dragonflies

10-11 a.m. Aug. 20 – Dragonflies

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 and the event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Register on the Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife website at https://fotr.wildapricot.org/event-32458985. Questions? Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-625-5944.

Wildlife Walk

8:30-10 a.m. Aug. 17

8:30-10 a.m. Aug. 31

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 Table

Noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 17 -- Salmon of the Tualatin Basin

Noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 24 -- Backyard birds

Noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 31 -- Frogs, snakes, salamanders, oh my!

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! 

Bats of the Night

8:30 p.m. Aug. 7

Join a bat biologist and search for bats on the refuge. Discover the importance of these flying mammals and how people can support the habitats where they live.

Tualatin River Photo Society

7 p.m. Sept. 5 visitor center

Professional photographer Adam Bacher will present his work on ravens. More information will be included in the September column.

Pam Farris is a member of Friends of the Refuge


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