Visiting The World Forestry Center
If you’re planning a trip to Portland OR, the World Forestry Center should be on your list of things to do. The Center is located in Washington Park near the Oregon Zoo. First opened in 1971, the Center is home to some of the most interesting exhibits in the state. Tracing its roots back to 1905, the Center includes a huge log cabin built for display at a Centennial Fair. Based on the expedition of Lewis and Clark, this Pacific Exposition Fair offered a glimpse of the forestry and building industry. This cabin was a prime example of forestry building and remained popular for many years. The cabin was destroyed by fire in 1964.
Visitors to the Center are offered education in sustainability and forestry. The Center consists of more than 20,000 square feet in a two-story structure. There are numerous exhibits, virtual tours, and simulators for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
The World Forestry Discovery Museum educates visitors on the importance of forests and sustainable forestry. The Museum was opened in 1966 and was built to replace the older Forestry Cabin. There are several floors in the Museum offering a variety of exhibits.
On the first floor, visitors can learn about the Pacific Northwest and the types of forests that thrive in the region. There are exhibits about the forest cycles and systems and how they are connected to the region’s rivers and streams. Visitors can also learn how Oregon manages its forests and help them thrive. There are also several interactive exhibits including one on smoke jumping, riding a raft along the Clackamas River and operating a Timberjack harvester.
The second floor offers more virtual tours which take visitors through four types of forests: temperate, boreal, tropical and sub-tropical. There is a Trans-Siberian Railway exhibit that transports visitors through this harsh landscape of sub-freezing temperatures where some of the world’s hardiest residents carve a living from the boreal forest.
Visitors can also hop on the virtual tour of Songhua Lake where they can learn how China’s temperate forests are being impacted by the country’s growing population. Another tour allows visitors to observe the wildlife native to a sub-tropical forest in a South African Park. The more adventurous visitors can enjoy a treetop view of a tropical forest in Brazil’s Amazon.
Not all of the Museum’s exhibits are located inside. Guests can stroll around the grounds of the Museum and study a petrified Giant Sequoia stump weighing 10,000 pounds, and that is five million years old.
The Museum also offers visitors an opportunity to walk through a demonstration forest at Magness Memorial Tree Farm located about 45 minutes outside Portland. Guided tours through the forest are available, and there are more than two miles of hiking trails that weave through and around picnic areas, meadows and streams.
To make a visit to the World Forestry Center in Portland easy and hassle-free, there are a few things to keep in mind. The Center is open every day starting on Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. There is a nominal admission charge of $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 18.
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