by Ceal Craig
In December 2018, I visited Turnbull Refuge. A retired Project Leader, now a Friends BOD member, and the President of their Friends group took the time to drive me around this unique Refuge, with its rock formations, ponderosa pines, marshes, wetlands, and lakes all within 18,000-acres.
While we did not see any elk, the drive through quiet forests with still falling snow was a sharp contract to our own Refuge Complex. A half-hour’s drive southwest of Spokane, Turnbull is in the northeastern Washington Scablands created over 15,000 years ago after incredible ice age floods created a maze of channels and depressions.
Also, quite impressive was the Friends of Turnbull’s large Nature Store and the renovated Environmental Education Building, retrofitted primarily by loving volunteer hands and donated materials: shelving, murals, education materials, and construction.
Every year, over 18,000 students participate in programs and learn about Refuge plants and wildlife, who make their home in the scablands at Turnbull.