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20th Anniversary BirdFest & Bluegrass Celebration


Location: Ilana- Cowlitz Ballroom Ridgefield WA

BirdFest and Bluegrass is the main event every year that the Friends puts on to bring awareness to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, and all that is has to offer. We celebrate the Sandhill Crane returning to the Refuge, a huge stately bird that is endangered in Washington State, and we celebrate everything the Refuge is and what it brings to the community. With endangered species, hundreds of migratory species, an auto tour route, photo blind, walking trails, the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, education and habitat restoration programs, and so much more – there is a lot to celebrate, and a lot to learn. There are workshops, hikes and walks all catered to teach you how to use the Refuge. You can learn how to listen for bird species, identify plants, about the geology of the area, the peoples who came before us and still tend to the land, how to take photos of it all, paint the landscape, and much more.

In between the units of the Refuge lies Downtown Ridgefield where there will be even more excitement. BirdFest events in town include- shopping, food, and kids activities at Overlook Park, more shopping from local artists and artisans at the Birders Marketplace in the Ridgefield Community Center,  Bluegrass Music, Audubon Live Bird Show, Zoo Zap Teens, and general festival fun.

This event is your chance to get your foot in the door. Come visit the Refuge for free during the weekend of BirdFest, and figure out where things are, how to pay when you come back, where the River ‘S’ Auto Tour and Kiwa Trail are, and how to get over to the Plankhouse and Carty Unit from there. Learn about the culture and the history of our area and how it affects how we use the land, or impress your friends when you can not only identify that backyard bird, but tell them what it’s call is saying. We are uniquely fortunate to have this resource right in our own backyard, and by learning not only how to appreciate the beauty, but the necessity of it, you come one step closer to being able to support it. If you’re already there, and you love the Refuge as much as we do, and you want to do your part, you can sign up to volunteer with a variety of programs (including BirdFest!), or become a Friend today.

Find out more at: Ridgefield Friends