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Steigerwald Refuge tree planting is cancelled, due to government shutdown

More than 50 volunteers had signed up to participate on MLK Jr. Day

The federal government shutdown has led to the cancellation of a tree planting event at the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Washougal.

Samantha Dumont, the volunteer coordinator with the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, said the tree planting — planned for Monday, Jan. 21, on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday — is cancelled, but other opportunities are scheduled for Saturday, Feb.16, and Saturday, March 16.

Dumont has contacted the 54 people who were planning to volunteer at Steigerwald, to inform them of the cancellation. Some of them will instead plant trees from 9 a.m. to noon, on MLK Jr. Day, at Keller Woodlands, in Portland.

The trees intended for Steigerwald — including black cottonwood, black hawthorn, dogwood and Oregon ash — will be stored for a future planting event.

“They all do a really good job of spreading and outcompeting the invasive reed canary grass,” Dumont said, regarding several types of trees and shrubs.

The volunteer tree plantings benefit the habitat along Gibbons Creek and the wildlife that call the refuge home.

For information about future tree planting opportunities at the Steigerwald refuge, contact Dumont at (503) 226-1565, Ext. 245, or SDumont@estuarypartnership.org, or visit estuarypartnership.org/news-events/events.