Field Trips

Field Trips

PLA reserves the right to cancel field trips if fewer than 25 people are registered as of January 20, 2023. 



Up on Chicken Creek: A Tualatin Dream (If I Ever Did See One)*

Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge

Date and Time: Sunday, February 26, 2023, 8am - 1pm

Price: $70 with convention registration  / $100 without convention registration

The Chicken Creek restoration project is complete. The natural flow of the creek is back and flourishing on the beautiful landscape of the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge, one of only a handful of urban national wildlife refuges in the country.

Over 100 years ago, when this land was converted to agricultural use by Europeans, the portion of Chicken Creek that once wound through the present-day refuge before it met the Tualatin River, was altered to become a straight channel, and reduced in length from two miles to 1/2 mile. While this allowed farmers to effectively manage the land for crops and dairy cows, it greatly reduced habitat for fish and wildlife. By restoring the creek’s natural curves across the floodplain, and eliminating water management infrastructure, Chicken Creek will once again serve as the lifeblood of its floodplain, while greatly reducing the need for human intervention to sustain the thriving system.

Join staff from Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge as we explore the resource through the lens of the restoration. We’ll enjoy a walking tour of the pivotal points in the renovation (and take in the splendor), while learning about the myriad partnerships that brought the dream to fruition -- a project of people and nature working together to create a sustainable system that supports healthy habitats for wildlife and lovers of wildlife.

The restoration is a unique example of USFWS, the Friends of TNWR, Ducks Unlimited, INTEL, Willamette Water Supply, local government agencies and municipalities (Clean Water Services) and many more partners coming together with a common interest to improve these public lands. Working collaboratively among numerous partners was the only way to achieve this -- and can serve as a model for restoration work everywhere.

Time will also be available to visit and shop the Friends of Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge’s Nature Overlook Store. Comfortable shoes, layered clothing and appropriate seasonal outwear are recommended as the field trip includes both indoor and outdoor time and will take place rain or shine. Participants should bring a water bottle; light snacks will be provided on the return bus ride.

*With apologies to The Band








Onward to Fort Vancouver: A Snapshot of the History of the Pacific Northwest

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Date and Time: Thursday, March 2, 2023, 8am - 1pm

Price: $70 with convention registration  / $100 without convention registration

Located on the north bank of the Columbia River, in sight of snowy mountain peaks and a vibrant urban landscape, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site has a rich cultural past. From a Native American trading ground (for 10,000 years prior to foreign contact), to a frontier fur trading post, a powerful military legacy, the magic of flight, and the origin of the American Pacific Northwest. As the official end of the Oregon Trail, Fort Vancouver holds stories of transition, settlement, conflict, and community.

Join the Friends of Fort Vancouver, National Park Service and US Forest Service as we travel back (figuratively, of course), to the people and places, to the events and stories that make up the diverse milieu that was, and is, Fort Vancouver. 

  • Learn about the fort’s “neighborhood,” where the employees of the London-based Hudson Bay Company lived. Period-dressed tour guides will lead you through a diverse village of people whose homelands spanned half the globe.

  • Discover the storied past – from before the Civil War through the World Wars to today -- of the Vancouver Barracks, one of the nation's most historic military posts.

  • Go behind the scenes at the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, exploring archeological finds primarily related to Hudson's Bay Co trade with Native Americans throughout the NW, but also continuing through the next 200 years of British and American occupation and settlement.

  • Learn of the establishment of the fort as the foremost center of linguistic and cultural diversity in the Northwest.

  • Look into the golden age of aviation at the Pearson Air Museum and Pearson Field -- from its roots as a military air field to its history as the site of the Spruce Mill and its transformation into a civilian field.

Through consultation with over 35 different American Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations, Fort Vancouver NHS is committed to presenting authentic and fair historical narratives about all groups involved with the history of this site.

Time will also be available to visit and shop the Friends of Fort Vancouver’s Bookstore and Gallery for specialty gifts, unique interpretive products, and Native American-made items. Comfortable shoes, layered clothing and appropriate seasonal outwear are recommended as the field trip includes both indoor and outdoor time and will take place rain or shine. Participants should bring a water bottle; light snacks will be provided on the return bus ride.