Farm Kid1 has visited the Tillamook Forest Center twice with Cub Scouts, but this was my first time going. I really enjoyed it. It’s a great discovery center & it’s free (donations accepted, of course). The museum has a ton of information on the Tillamook Forest including plants, animals & how people use the area.
The building design is different. To be honest, I didn’t even realize this was the main exhibit hall when we first drove up. Thank goodness the boys knew where to go. Not long after being there, the building grew on me. I actually think it’s fantastic. It’s environmentally friendly, many of the building materials are local and that cute pond in front has many uses including acting as a heat exchange for the cooling system. The long gutter-thing sticking out in between the 2 buildings collects rain water from the roof and dumps it into the pond.
Replica of a forest fire lookout tower. Of course we climbed to the top and were rewarded with a great view of the forest. Inside the small room was a bed, a large map to chart the location of the fire & a radio to warn others.
Inside the Museum
Left: All dressed up to practice putting out a fire.
Top Right: It’s hard to notice in this pic, but this is a 3D map with lights showing the different areas of the various fires during the Tillamook Burn.
Bottom Right: We can’t discuss forest fire safety without thinking about Smokey the Bear.
This is way past my running level, but here’s an ultra event for any one interested in checking it out: Run the Burn 5o miler & 50K
I loved all the hidden displays. This one shows what it looks like underground, but you had to pull it out to see it.
Left: Life on a rotten log. There’s even a huge magnify glass to get a closer peek.
Right: Another hidden display. This one describes rings on a tree.
This, I thought, was fantastic – especially since we have been discussing the different layers in a forest. There is a small scale model of each of the layers with a quick blurb describing the layer and drawers full of important plants and animals.
Changes in salmon eggs.
Hiking Trails out Back
To finish off our trip, we went on a short hike behind the museum.
I’m so glad we made the trip to this Forest Center. The kids had a great time & learned a bit more about the area we call home.