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By Tom Hartz, President of the Board

President Tom Hartz

August is nearly over, Labor Day is around the corner. Soon the kids will be back in school. The days are getting shorter. I hope that everyone was able to do something fun over the summer.

I’m submitting this month’s Perch early, August 18th, because I will leave for West Virginia on the 20th for Friends Academy training at the National Conservation Training Center. I was honored to be sponsored by Cheryl Hart, a Friends Board Member and Past President, and Larry Klimek, our Refuge Project Manager. Several Friends Board members have attended this training in the past and all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learned a lot about the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Partnership Development, Non-Profit Leadership, and Community Engagement. We’ll take a short break to witness the eclipse. The NCTC Facilities aren’t on the totality path. I’ll rely on the Photo Society to capture and share their photographs.

The Friends Board has been immersed in preparing the annual budget. It’s a lot of work and guesswork, but the exercise is always informative. Willem Stoeller, our Treasurer, maintains a metric that I find very actionable. Like most of you, when I plan my charitable contributions, I look for organizations that represent causes and offer programs that I want to support. I like to think that my contributions will have an impact. Every month, Willem reports the percentage of the Friends revenues that are invested into our programs. He counsels that a non-profit organization, like the Friends, should spend over 75% of its income on programs. Through the month of July, the Friends have invested 86% of our revenue into our programs. That’s fantastic! I’ve ceased contributing to several organizations with attractive names and worthy causes that fall well short of even 75% of revenue going to programs for causes that I hoped to support. Your Friends membership, contributions, sponsorships, store purchases, etc. directly impact what the Friends of TRNWR do for our refuge and community. I encourage you to share that metric with your family, friends, and co-workers. If they’re looking to have an impact on conservation, environmental education and interpretation, wildlife observation, and photography in our own communities, the Friends of Tualatin River NWR could be an attractive investment. Donations can be made directly on the Friends website.

On a related note, we’re planning to emphasize Membership Development going forward. You can join or renew your membership on the Friends website. Not only do we want more members, but we’re also looking to identify people who have an interest in joining the Friends Board. We have several Board openings at this time. If you’re interested, please let us know by calling 503-625-5944 ext 227. This phone is not staffed every day so please leave a message.

Enjoy the last days of summer vacation!


September 30, 2017

All Friends Members are invited to attend our annual membership meeting. Registration is required so we can plan for food and activities. Members may invite guests as space allows. New members are welcome to join at the door and attend all activities.

Reserve your seat(s) now on the Friends web site.

Location: Wildlife Center, 19255 SW Pacific Hwy, Sherwood OR


    9:00 Continental breakfast and refuge highlights slideshow
    9:45 Business meeting

Election and re-election of Board members, Volunteers of the Year announcement
  10:30 Special presentation -- Restoring the Refuge: A Preview of the Chicken Creek Restoration Project

Refuge staff will explain the Chicken Creek restoration project planned for the main unit of the Refuge. Find out first-hand what will be happening over the next year and how you can get involved.
  11:00 Walk and Talk continues outdoors to the Chicken Creek Restoration site

Depart from the Visitor Center for a short walk to the Chicken Creek site. The walk will last about one hour. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy walking shoes as the terrain may be uneven. Refuge staff will provide additional information about the project and answer questions.

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes walk and learn more about YOUR Refuge!


New Merchandise

We have new ladies cut tees with a slight v-neck in heathered purple and navy. Men's crew neck in aqua and navy. Great for these last warm afternoons of summer.

Also new are windbreakers in a choice of forest green or navy. Sizes XS thru XXL. Perfect for the cool mornings.

Book Recommendations

You’ll find “Saving Samantha: A True Story” greeting you at the welcome desk at the Refuge (with coordinating stuffed animal foxes next to it).  It’s a charming story about a rescued fox kit, her recovery, complete with a happy ending.  Beautiful illustrations, too.  $17.95.

Animal Tracks Activity Book” by Brett Ortler is just $5.95 and is packed with animal themed mazes, word puzzles, and many lessons about animal tracks and track patterns – plus, it’s a coloring book!  A great find for the kids in your life.

We’ve restocked with favorite titles, and many new books are on the way, so keep checking out our selection at Nature’s Overlook.  Thanks for supporting the Refuge through your book purchases!  Happy reading!



The Animals in the Sky event was a hit! We had over 45 people participate in night walks and activities highlighting the planets, stars, and the stories about them. A huge thanks to our volunteers for making it happen. My favorite part was walking the seasonal trail and watching the sunset as the geese flew in. I am looking forward to the next evening event!

And we also had several people come to the Refuge to observe the eclipse. 

Environmental Education

This month our trail camera caught hundreds of pictures of rabbits and squirrels here on the Refuge. The squirrel holding the oak gall came back many times picking up and testing the gall before it finally ate it.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service and Refuges across the country use trail cameras as a tool for documenting rare wildlife and population densities and movement ecology.

Ocelot caught on camera in Texas at Laguna Atascosa NWR.

Florida Deer Study


Chicken Creek/1S Wetland Update

You may have noticed the areas around the historic Chicken Creek and western seasonal trail looking a bit different this time of year. We are now in our second year of prep work for the Chicken Creek/1S restoration and have been taking a somewhat new approach to battling invasive plants. A series of complete mows and herbicide work will effectively allow us to start from a blank slate in preparation for planting during winter 2018-2019. An estimated 85% of the site has been plagued by species such as Reed canary grass, cocklebur, and pennyroyal. This “blank slate” approach to revegetation has proven very successful at similar sites and we are very hopeful about the results we will see. 

With some excavation work slated for next summer and our second complete year of prep working wrapping up, the Chicken Creek restoration is well underway. Although the site may look worse before it looks better, the resultant habitat and ecological value of the site will be well worth the wait.


September Meeting: Denise Ippiloto

Award-winning Nature Photographer, Denise Ippolito, will be speaking at the Photo Society meeting in September.  For this month only, we will be meeting on Friday night, September 8, at 7:00 PM in the Riparian Room on the Refuge. 

Denise will be speaking on Macro/Flower Photography, Bird Photography, and landscape photography. If you’d like to view her blog, see This evening’s presentation will be free. Come early to get your seat – the seating in the Riparian Room is limited to 135.

Denise Ippolito is a full time professional photographer, international workshop leader, and creative artist living in New Jersey. Most recently one of Denise’s images was selected as the "Birds" Category Winner in the prestigious Nature's Best 2016 Windland Smith Rice International Awards Competition. In 2015 she also won the Category for "Art in Nature" in the Nature's Best 2015 International Awards Competition.

In 2010 and again in 2014 Denise received a Highly Honored award in the same Nature's Best competition. Also in 2014 one of her images was selected as part of the People's Choice Awards Top 50 Images in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. She has also won several PSA (Photographic Society of America) awards. Her images have been published in magazines and text books, sold as greeting cards, calendars and most recently featured in a Sierra Club Documentary. Six of her images hung in the distinguished Birds of the World Exhibit featured at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Denise travels extensively presenting slide shows, lectures and seminars and teaching photography and Photoshop. Her workshops feature a variety of subjects including: avian, flower, landscape and creative photography.

Eclipse Meet-up

Photo Society Meetup for Eclipse was a success!

Seven members plus two guests spent the weekend at Peter’s ranch near Prairie City (thanks Peter!). We had two nights of outstanding Milky Way Photography, then made images of the total eclipse on Monday.

Eclipse 2017 - Copyright Don Nelson

Eclipse 2017 - Copyright Kristen Nelson

Eclipse 2017 - Copyright Kristen Nelson


Take a moment and watch the video from the Department of the Interior, created with photos submitted from across public lands in the path of the eclipse. Tualatin River NWR starts off this amazing memory, with photos provided by Friends' Environmental Education Specialist, Seth Winkelhake.

Posted by U.S. Department of the Interior

The Refuge, although not in totality, was a hub for many to enjoy this event. The parking lot was overflowing and the plaza, parking lot, and trails held many visitors that came to the Refuge to enjoy this event.

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President's Perch

Annual Membership Meeting

Nature's Overlook Store

Program Updates

Photo Society

TRNWR Leads in National Video


Early Morning Bird Walk
Sep. 2, 8am - 10am

Photo Society Monthly Meeting
Sep. 8, 7:00 pm

2nd Saturday/NPLD Work Party
Sep. 9,  8:45am - noon

Sep 13,  1pm - 2:30pm

Sep 19,  10am - 11:30am

Friends Annual Membership Meeting
Sep 30, 9:00 - noon






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