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Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge Fall Planting

Tualatin Riverkeepers is joining Friends of Trees for this valuable opportunity to provide hands-on restoration at Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge before it officially opens to the public!

And we need YOUR help to plant at Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge, one of the nation's newest refuges! This site consists of 817 acres within a 5,000 acre network of near-contiguous publicly-owned natural areas connecting wetlands, floodplains, and waterways, is of critical importance to the health of water, wildlife and people across the Portland metro area.

Historically, seasonal flood waters from the Tualatin River created Wapato Lake. Rich peat soils found in the lakebed supported wetland habitats that were surrounded by hardwood forests on the adjacent floodplains. These plant communities supported diverse wildlife communities that included migrating and wintering waterfowl, raptors, migratory songbirds, fish, amphibians and reptiles.

Refuge staff are working with partners to learn about the natural cycles of the lakebed and to plan habitat restoration activities to mimic those cycles. Ultimately, restoration efforts at Wapato Lake National Wildlife refuge will contribute to the health of the Tualatin River watershed and those who live within it.

Please arrive by 8:45am to sign-in and be assigned a planting crew. The planting starts at 9:00am. We provide gloves, tools, and planting guidance, as well as breakfast snacks and coffee/tea/hot chocolate -- all you need to do is show up dressed for the weather wearing sturdy shoes or boots, and be ready to have fun!

Tualatin Riverkeepers volunteers can expect to plant together as a group. Either a staff member or stewardship volunteer will serve as crew leader.

Never attended a stewardship event? We have a volunteer resource folder that has past volunteer training recordings and slideshows. Anyone interested in becoming a crew leader can email

*Expect a 15-25 minute walk from the parking area to the planting site.*

Under age 18? We request that youth 15 and under volunteer with a parent/guardian. Youth 16 and older can volunteer on their own and will need to hand us a youth waiver form signed by their parent/guardian.

What about Covid-19? We require that all people at our events cancel if you are feeling unwell or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19 within 3 days of the event. We recommend everyone is fully-vaccinated, bring and wear a face mask when working in close quarters, and respect 6’ of physical distance.

This planting is in partnership with Clean Water Services and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Register Here